Tips and Tricks

Bitdefender’s Pick. Amazon, Google and Apple Ramp up Competition in Internet of Things; Hackers Await


What is Bitdefender’s Pick?
We might be a security company, but our interests spin way beyond creating virus signatures and identifying new malware. We also keep our eyes peeled for new gadgets and innovative technologies. You’ll simply love our pick! 

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When you run out of coffee for your espresso machine, Samsung and Apple may soon want you to tap a smartphone app for a refill. Amazon may soon persuade you to press a button on a device made for ordering supplies.

And wrong-doers will scrutinize your decision.

Here are some of the smart plans that will soon turn into smart devices and, unfortunately, probably attract the interest of some pretty smart hackers:

Over the next five years, Amazon will increase investment in its hardware division, Lab126, which is working on Internet-connected devices for the “smart” home. According to Reuters, they include a gadget with just one button that you press to order supplies. By building a presence on the Internet of Things (the phrase used to describe the new world of networked everyday objects), Amazon is entering a field that has already attracted other tech giants such as Google, Samsung and Apple.

Google recently acquired Nest, a company focused on making smart home devices including smoke alarms and thermostats that learn how to save energy.

Samsung has bought SmartThings, which makes and sells devices allowing people to control various objects in their homes via a smartphone app.

And iOS 8, the latest version of Apple’s operating system for mobile devices, includes the HomeKit framework allowing developers to create iPhone and iPad apps that communicate with accessories in the users’ homes.

2014 has been “a breakout year for the Internet of Things industry, with many new investments, mainstream press coverage, and new product lines being created,” according to Postscapes, which tracks developments in the field. It lists Bosch, Cisco, Ericsson, GE, IBM and Intel among the players with over a billion dollars in market cap that have started to develop products and services for the Internet of Things.

As more products connect to the Internet of Things, they become vulnerable to hacking, just like ordinary computers. Data security professionals “need to be aware of new ways that digital criminals can disrupt businesses and personal lives,” said Peter Fonash, chief technology officer of the US Department of Homeland Security, as cited by the Austin Business Journal.

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