Guest Post: The security questions raised by IoT

In a world where devices are getting more powerful and smaller, IoT has become a common term even to the layman. Using sensors and genius level engineering, devices are getting smaller, more efficient and anything can be connected to anything.

Today hotels are using RFID tags to remotely track their towel inventory, you can turn your water pump on and when the water reaches the brim, you can turn it off all in the comfort of your office chair. Cool right?

IoT has even become a vital part of our lives. Our houses have operating systems, we can warm food or turn on the heater while driving back home.

There’s one problem, though. As we move to a more connected world, we create more channels for malicious attackers. If your towel can be connected to a network, that means it can be hacked. Let’s look at a scenario where you have a smart house and everything in there is connected to your smartphone. That means that if a hacker gets access to your phone, your entire house is compromised.

Because IoT devices are small and simple, they don’t have sophisticated security measure and it is very easy to compromise them. These means that sometimes when we have IoT devices in our systems, we are providing loopholes to an attacker.

However, IoT has become quite vital in our day to day activities and doing away with it is out of the question. For the layman, the security problem is a non-issue for the moment but that doesn’t mean that the threat isn’t there.

Securing these devices will obviously take time but it’s a risk we have to take for the sake of the future.

This article was submitted by Patrick Gichini.  Patrick is a technology trainer at Tunapanda Institute, he is interested in all things tech and also a gamer. 

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