Cloud Insight

The Internet of Things is Hacker’s Dream

3 Dec

Interconnectivity is the name of the game in today’s technology. As we strive to make things easier and more convenient we also connect everything and everyone. This is a novel idea, indeed. However, one problem still exists. That problem is security. With all of our devices connected including our cars and homes, how do we limit our exposure to cyber crime?

The Internet of Things gives us vast capabilities. By connecting everyday tools like cars, appliances, lights, and security systems we can keep track of our daily lives like never before. We can turn on lights from anywhere, be alerted when the dog walker comes and goes, know when it’s time for a tune-up, and even be notified if our washer and dryer aren’t performing at their best.

Describing the benefits of this technology takes more than a few sentences, but in short, it allows us to more easily maintain the ever-growing nature of our technological lives. It is designed to make our lives easier. There is one major problem with all of this ease though – securing our devices so they can’t be hacked becomes more difficult.

We’ve seen instances where a car equipped with Internet connected devices can be hacked while it’s in motion causing increased speeds or steering malfunction. There are reports of hackers taking over a camera inside someone’s home and watching their movements.

While more connected devices does make things easier as a whole, it also makes it easier for a hacker to wreak havoc on your daily life – or worse – wreak havoc on a mass population.

Imagine this doomsday scenario: A hundred million people have connected devices in their cars, homes, and businesses. These devices are all hacked simultaneously. Cars go off the road slamming into one another, houses go dark, businesses lose millions of dollars – all because of devices connected to the Internet that have been hacked.

Sure, this is a stretch, and you’d think we’d be smarter than to allow this to happen. But smaller, more localized cases can’t be overlooked. The common thief isn’t considered to be all that clever, but the modern thief? Someone with enough computer savvy could likely hack into your wireless security system or your home automation systems if they’re in any way connected to the Internet. A potential burglar could deactivate your security system, view your security cameras, and unlock your doors – making for an easy burglary target.

It sounds like Ocean’s Eleven type stuff, but the reality is if everything is connected to the Internet and isn’t super secure, we could be setting ourselves up for massive problems. Luckily, there have been talks about security standards for IoT devices. Of course, regulations are falling into place concerning other types of cyber attacks, and these same or similar standards should apply to everyday consumer products.

The future is always unknown, and the Internet of Things looks to be big business in the coming years. One thing we do know is we have to take the proper precautions now in order to secure us for the future. The Internet of Things can provide us with great technology making our everyday lives easier and more efficient in hundreds of different ways – but we must make sure we don’t set ourselves up for failure. More security does not mean limiting our options, if anything it means we’re expanding our horizons.