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Measures to Combat IoT Security Threats
Smartphones, smart homes, smart building, and everything with the prefix smart are the new buzzwords of the decade. These buildings and things are being embedded with sensors that are part of the wider range of IoT technologies. The demand for IoT devices is increasing exponentially with every year and to cater to this demand at an affordable rate, most IoT manufacturers and engineers forego the security installations.
As people connect to these devices and use it in a personal capacity daily, security of the data gathered by these devices has become a major concern. This could propagate the decline of the innovation and the future of the IoT market. Lack of transparency, data manipulation, and privacy breaches are the main concerns for household devices whereas IIoT devices used by enterprises are vulnerable to major data breaches, Ransomware attacks, and other malicious practices.
In this capacity, it is imperative for IoT device manufacturers to incorporate inbuilt firewalls and prevent DDoS attacks. Hacking IoT devices are becoming easier as the recent debacle with Amazon’s Alexa highlighted the problem when the private conversation of a user from Oregon was recorded and sent to a random contact number. A recent survey by Bain & Company has found that increased data security on IoT devices would lead to a cost increase of 22 percent, not a viable proposition.
With Amazon recently patenting “Voice-Sniffing Algorithm”, which is designed to equip smart home assistants to record the conversation and identify certain elemental words to create a report of the end-users likes and dislikes. This data will then be leveraged by the company to provide target-specific advertisement, customized according to the user’s lifestyle and preferences. Even though it is a technological advancement towards providing the market with a personalized customer experience, this may also become a privacy invasion nightmare in general.
As an effective solution against data breach and possible manipulation, some IoT security providers are researching into the benefits of leveraging blockchain to control data access of the devices. Nonetheless, the amount of data that is and will be created daily is not feasible to be stored on a blockchain at a cost-effective rate.
Households with multiple IoT devices can move forward with a central network-based solution that would secure all the interconnected devices as opposed to a single device at a time. Moreover, machine learning can be utilized to learn from the existing data traffic and detect anomalies in case of any deviation.