A study from Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society suggested that consumers should be more cautious of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and as these offer more opportunities for surveillance and focus less on encryption. Darin Welfare, EMEA VP, WinMagic have the following comments on it.

Darin Welfare, EMEA VP, WinMagic :

Today’s release of the Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the ‘Going Dark’ Debate highlights some interesting points on the state of encryption and dangers posed by the Internet of Things (IoT). However, it does have a fatal flaw in its failure to consider the impact these issues will have on businesses.

The concerns for consumer privacy are clear, however, connected devices will not only affect ordinary users. They will offer cybercriminals significant additional attack vectors through which they can gain access to company networks. As more and more devices are connected to corporate networks, any devices that are unsecured provide hackers who hold appropriate technical know how and tools a revolving door to the businesses internal systems. Savvy hackers will increasingly target these devices as a way to breach traditional security protocols and mine valuable company data.

IoT security standards today vary widely depending on device manufacturer and operating system. The good news is that IoT is still in its early stages and, historically speaking, all new technology is initially weak on security as manufacturers and developers assess functionality and vulnerability limits before industry standards are developed.

Whilst the journey towards securing the Internet of Things is just beginning, in order to better secure these devices, device manufacturers should look at encryption at the hardware level, which will ensure that any data mined from the device is unusable. Businesses should be tackling these concerns today to ensure they remain protected tomorrow.

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