The Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses any and all products that are connected to the internet or to each other. Any product which requires connection to a home, car or office network to deliver its complete set of features falls under this broad term. In fact cars themselves are now a component of the IoT as they now exchange data with the manufacturer routinely if not continuously.
According to Gartner, the number of Internet-connected devices is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. While IoT is going to improve life for many, the number of security risks that consumers and businesses are prone to face will increase exponentially.
- IoT users give their approval for collection and storage of data without having adequate information or technical knowledge. Data collected and shared with or lost to third parties will eventually produce a detailed picture of our personal lives that users would never consider sharing with any stranger they met on the street.
- Anonymity has been a constant issue in the world of IoT, where IoT platforms barely give any importance to user anonymity in the process of sharing data.
- Cyber attacks are likely to become an increasingly physical (rather than simply virtual) threat. Many Internet-connected appliances, such as cameras, televisions sets, and kitchen appliances are already enabled to spy on people in their own homes. Such devices accumulate a lot of personal data, which gets shared with other devices or are held in databases by organizations, and they are prone to being misused.
- Computer-controlled automobile devices such as horns, brakes, engine, dashboard, and locks are at risk from hackers who may get access to the on-board network and manipulate at will, for fun, mischief or personal gain.
- The concept of layered security and redundancy to manage IoT-related risks is still in a nascent stage. For instance, the readings of smart health devices to monitor a patient's condition may be altered, which again when connected to another device for prescribing medicines post analysis, will be compromised, and will adversely affect the patient's diagnosis or treatment.
- There is a high probability of failure to get access to a particular website or database when multiple IoT-based devices try connecting to it, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and a drop in revenue.