A New Frontier: Securing the Internet of Things
By Chelsey LeMaire/
November 17, 2016

The IoT is a new frontier. Projected to surpass 50 billion objects by 2020, with the potential to boost the global GDP by $142 trillion, the Internet of Things offers private consumers the ability to create app-controlled “smart homes” and offers businesses unprecedented access to real-time operational data monitoring, collection and analysis. With the rapidly-evolving, demand-driven industry of IoT devices, technologies are being introduced faster than they can be protected.

For individual consumers, IoT security breaches have the potential to violate privacy, steal personal information, and generally terrorize unsuspecting people by manipulating their home devices. On the industrial or business side of the IoT, the threat of a hack presents far more widespread consequences. Unsecured IoT devices present a perfect opportunity for hackers to wreak havoc by compromising operational and/or safety data being tracked by IoT devices, causing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) incident for customers (like the October 2016 Internet Outage), and accessing, compromising, or ransoming financial systems and data by using connected IoT devices to infiltrate the corporate IT firewall. It is becoming increasingly clear to private consumers and businesses that more focus needs to be dedicated to securing the IoT.

Inevitably sufficient security measures will be developed, but these developments will take time. Until then, here are several ways consumers and companies can keep hackers at bay:

As the technology community begins to unravel and understand the concept of protecting vast amounts of personal data, IoT users must remain vigilant about securing their own devices. Increasing dependence on internet-connected objects makes securing them a top priority. While alluring, the new frontier of the IoT could leave many people very vulnerable.