When Armstrong and Aldrin made it to the moon in 1969 it felt like humans and technology had outdone themselves and the future was a utopia of self-driving flying cars and talking robots.
Fast forward 47 years and it’s 2016. Both manufacturers and consumers want to do things never done before, so they call upon the internet of things to reinvent and automate their lives. The overwhelming desire to monetize each opportunity by hurrying the release of projects before they’ve reached their potential leads to one roadblock: the internet of things leaves devices vulnerable and hackable.
Lately it seems we’re finally living the science fiction movies and animations of our childhood. Self-driving connected cars are on display, surveillance cameras and doorbells send videos to our phones, allowing us to monitor our homes, and smart plugs use Wi-Fi to control devices. Soon the internet of things will infiltrate all industries and segments, paving the way for a new and profitable business model – cybercrime.
Infrastructure attacks are already happening but security and privacy are not examined enough because users are not trained to understand the risks and vulnerabilities they are exposed to every day. A security camera in a child’s bedroom was recently hacked, leaving the mother to find a public stream of her daughter’s room and daily habits on Facebook. At any time, hackers can corrupt a camera, a smart lock or a baby monitor and invade your privacy. The cracks don’t stop here. Last week another fatal accident involving a self-driving Tesla took place in the US, killing a 10-year-old.
Security and safety are only briefly and occasionally discussed. As wearable tech spreads and biometrics such as facial recognition, fingerprint and voice identification are step by step implemented to authorize access to connected devices, concerns rise around the safety of the devices and of the data collected. Many security problems the internet of things faces can be foretold and even fixed if not rushed to market. Whether the problem lies in the manufacturer or the consumer, security is the most important industry liability. Until that’s fixed, the internet of things will remain the internet of headaches for many users.