How to Fix the Many IoT Security Gaps That Nobody Is Thinking About
NEWS ANALYSIS: Nobody knows for sure how many things are connected to the Internet in various ways, but we do know there are a lot of them and most are unsecured.It's impossible to state accurately just how many devices are connected to the Internet. For one thing, the number changes by the minute as connections grow. For another, many if not most of those devices work quietly in the shadows simply doing their jobs and not attracting attention. On my three-hour drive from my office near Washington to another office quietly nestled near the James River in central Virginia, I tried to keep track of just how many of those connected things I found along US Route 29, the primary highway in that area. I was able to spot a few of them, but I know I missed thousands of connected things, either because they're not readily visible or more likely because I was dodging crazed drivers. But I was able to see some of them, even if I gave up counting. What were those things? Everything from sensors along the Norfolk Southern railway line that parallels the highway to traffic sensors embedded in the pavement.
There were water-level sensors near the stream beds next to bridges I passed over, monitoring devices on pipelines and agricultural equipment, and sensors in Virginia's wineries that lie quietly in those mountain valleys a distance from the highway. And, of course, they were in gas stations and stores, on tractor trailers and in shipping containers.