According to Techopedia, Internet of Things (IoT) is defined as a computing object that describes a future where everyday physical objects will be connected to the Internet and be able to identify themselves to other devices. The Internet of Things is significant because an object that can represent itself digitally becomes something greater than the object by itself. No longer does the object relate just to you, but is now connected to surrounding objects and database data.

While everyone is busy talking about the conveniences such an innovation brings with it, there are very few looking at how complicated the security landscape will become as a consequence of IoT. Internet of Things can be potentially dangerous not because our machines will “turn on us”, but rather because they are able to communicate with the Internet at large. You’ve likely already witnessed the problems that computers encounter as a result of being connected to the Web. They get viruses, they are exploited in several different ways, and sometimes hackers even gain control of the entire system to do some malicious activities through it.

In short, IoT simply presents more possibilities for this to occur by connecting your toaster, your fridge, your car, your TV, and other household items to the Internet.

How IoT Can Be Used as an Internet Security Threat

With IoT, the biggest possible threat that we may face is botnets. In a typical breach scenario, a hacker will infect a computer with a virus that automatically connects the system to a central server. The hacker will then order all infected computers to flood a certain IP address with packets, hindering the IP address’ ability to function normally. Some people think this is a major issue, while some think otherwise. The more you look into the idea of it, the bigger the issue becomes. More people now are getting concerned when it comes to Internet security compared to the previous years because of the negative things that has happened to the users. By the year 2020, it has been estimated that there will be 50 billion connected devices, and some think that it this is low by a long shot. So it can be considered that the number of device producing information will definitely be high in number.

It’s awesome and life changing how Internet of Things can be applied to almost everything around us — smart cities, smart traffic systems, smart cars, mobile health, smart grids, and many more. This is all good, and just a fraction of things inside your house alone. But do you think most people are stopping to ask what operating system is behind the screen on the fridge? Or where is the smart meter of your electricity storing its data? Or can someone hack into your TV, refrigerator, or thermostat? If so, does that open a back door into your home network, your computer, and your critical and confidential information? And to think this is just the house example. These are only a few very real concerns, along with their vulnerabilities. Advances in engineering and technology have always been a two-edged sword. Whether it involves a rocket ship, a laser beam, or a breakthrough communications technology, the ability to achieve better quality of life or greater efficiency comes with the need to safeguard against any improper use of these advances. This is definitely a big issue to deal with, and will require a great deal of thought, planning, coordination, and action.

So, should you stop using IoT entirely? However, it would be beneficial if this will educate people to be more careful with the technology that they use. The bottom line here is that convenience sometimes requires a compromise on security that people aren’t ready or even prepared to make.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 9:49:57 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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