Internet of Things is the new star of CES 2016. You couldn’t find any single person at CES not talking about Internet of Things. And so it begins, the craze that takes the world by storm, rinse and repeat, year after year. Once it was smartphones, then it was tablets, wearables, and now it’s the smart home and our connected lives.
The Internet of Things (IoT) are devices that connect to the internet. They can be anything from data-guzzling devices that monitor your physical activity, smart thermostats that monitor the outside air and adjust your home temperature accordingly, or appliances that can think on their own and order groceries while you’re at work.
But when your house comes under attack from an unknown threat, the Internet of Things craze paints an entirely different picture. As the interest in IoT continues to rise, so does the concern about privacy and security. And all too often, device manufacturers have the same problem: they’re thinking too much about the product, and not enough about security.
“Security needs to be designed into the fabric of the service from the beginning. It cannot be bolted on as an afterthought,” said Mark Nunnikhoven, vice-president of cloud research at security firm Trend Micro.
The main question that needs to be answered is how devices collecting, storing, and sending data are protected from outside threats.
Just last year, security firm Rapid7 discovered a slew of baby monitors that included hard-coded credentials, allowing anyone with the right username and password in. The research highlighted a wider trend of not just baby monitors, but other IoT-connected devices, which are increasingly connected to business and enterprise networks.
Tod Beardsley, research manager at Rapid7, noted a common issue, that companies are “delivering IoT devices without addressing the problem of an active adversary attacking these devices — even in the case where the IoT device is designed to be a security product.”
No matter which way you look at it: every company nowadays has to be a security company.