Securing Billions of IoT Devices Poses Mind-Boggling Challenges
The Internet of things presents some significant security challenges that need to be dealt with now before big problems arise.The first week in May was a big one for the Internet of things in Massachusetts. Actually, it was officially "Internet of Things Week" in the state, as proclaimed by Gov. Deval Patrick and wrapped around a number of events in Boston and Cambridge meant to celebrate the coming boom of highly connected devices and systems that promise to transform the way we live and conduct business. The events included a developer competition—the IoT Olympiad—and the 5th Annual Auto-ID & Sensing Solutions Expo, as well as the NFC Bootcamp for learning all things near-field communication. However, among all the hoopla, security experts gathered in a hotel conference room in Cambridge May 7 to talk about the security and privacy challenges the IoT presents. The mood at the Security of Things Forum was decidedly darker than elsewhere around Boston that week. While noting the promised benefits of the IoT, the talk was more about technological hurdles to securing the devices and data, the reluctance of some businesses to spend money on security and the complacency of many people about protecting their personal information.
The sheer numbers are daunting, some of the experts said. At a time when the world is struggling with protecting the systems—and the data they hold—that already are connected, how will people be able to secure the tens of billions of connected devices expected by the end of the decade?