With Google Glass, FitBit, smart cars, smart televisions, and more, it seems like the world is getting closer to the reality of the Internet of Things. In fact, according to IDC, the installed base of the Internet of Things will be approximately 212 billion “things” worldwide by 2020. Whether it’s wearable technology, household items, transportation or anything else, its clear IoT is here to stay.
The term “the Internet of Things” or “IoT” refers to how companies of all sizes are working to link IP connected devices like smartphones and cars to industrial sensors for tracking and seamless communication. For example, a business may never be short on stock again if they could continuously and automatically keep track of inventory and sales.
On April 9th, in celebration of IoT Day, we announced our comprehensive strategy for addressing IoT security threats. When it comes to IoT, it’s essential that manufacturers and developers keep security in mind throughout the entire production process – rather than something to be added in later. While IoT provides convenience and endless connectivity possibilities across processes and protocols, it also creates unprecedented security risks related to data privacy, safety, and information access that must be taken into account.
There are still quite a few issues that need to be addressed before IoT is part of every home, business, and school, and process starts with the companies at the fore front of technology and mobility innovation. One of the biggest hurdles to IoT adoption is addressing the serious security risks that accompany these new digital environments. One of the first large-scale IoT cyber-attacks made the news in January, with more than 100,000 smart home devices manipulated into sending around 750,000 phishing emails.
All this serves as a reminder that, even as things become more connected, security is still a major concern. The constant connectivity of IoT is definitely something to be praised, but any disruption to this process can be detrimental to business productivity and our daily lives. It is crucial to prevent against threats and securely manage these devices from the get go. Below are some key strategies McAfee utilizes to address security in the IoT era:
- A secure and holistic solution for information rich environments across multiple systems and devices
- Assurance that devices are operating as intended by the manufacturer and have not been corrupted
- Life-cycle security across the device, network, and data center
- Support for industry standards and device interoperability
- Ability to solve Information Technology/Cloud services challenges in connecting legacy and new systems to future services
- Technology provided to assure individual privacy
We’ve pledged to work with our partners, like McAfee and Wind River, in the continued development of ways in which we can protect consumers from IoT threats. It’s clear that our society is moving in the direction of universal connectivity, and device manufactures and consumers alike must be prepared to bolster security for this very reason.