When people discuss the Internet of Everything (IoE), it refers to the introduction of computing power and networking capabilities to previously “dumb” devices like television sets, cars, pedometers, and appliances. Many believe that it is the next big thing in tech, and it offers users a wide array of benefits, allowing them to save time, money, or even improve their lives. These gadgets range from the merely nice to have, all the way to mission critical tools.
However, the Internet connectivity and computing power of these devices – the very things that makes them “smart” – introduces security risks as well. For instance, in smart TVs facial and speech recognition features are problematic in terms of privacy. Self-driving cars may be hacked and cause injure to their occupants or passers-by. Pervasive wearable tech, while useful to their owners, may be considered a privacy threat by bystanders.
We’ve earlier talked about the factors that will influence the proliferation of smart devices in homes. These factors include market pressures, regional availability and cultural acceptance. Smart home devices are being marketed and are readily available, whether in stores or online. In addition, in some markets broadband providers are also selling these devices to their existing customers, adding home automation to existing Internet and cable TV plans.
Cybercriminals go after the platforms and devices that are popular with users. However, while smart devices may be the “next big thing”, they have not yet been broadly adopted. In our 2014 predictions, we noted that there is no “killer app” that many users will consider a must-have; such an “killer app” would lead to a wide-scale adoption of smart devices.
However, the numbers of people adopting smart devices will only grow. These early adopters need to be aware of the various security risks of these devices – not only to their personal information and privacy, but also to their safety and well-being.
For more information on the security risks and how to secure smart devices, visit our Internet of Everything hub which contains our materials that discuss this emerging field.