We focus on the dangers of the Internet of Things (IoT) a great deal. How the proliferation of these devices, and their lack of access security, allow hackers to hijack them for botnets is only one piece of this danger, however. As we invest more in home automation and other interconnected technologies, we’re also putting our IoT data privacy, and as such, our identities, at risk. The same security failings that allow hackers to leverage IoT devices in DDoS attacks can also give them access to a variety of our personal data that these devices have access to.
Cybersecurity experts have been wary of the growing IoT trend for years, but consumers continue to invest in these convenient devices at breakneck speeds. As a result, hijacked home routers were implicated in the massive DDoS attack that took out Dyn last year. IoT devices are connected to a significant portion of our personal lives as well. Those who use fitness trackers, for example, sync their health vitals, as well as their location and fitness habits, to the cloud. This information could be used against them when targeting health insurance fraud or in planning a robbery. And this is just a single example of the information we’re putting out there on these unsecured technologies. When paired with an automated home security system, your gym time could become the perfect opportunity for a thief with a penchant for home burglary and a bit of skill in hacking.
Protecting IoT Data Privacy
Tackling IoT access security is a good first step to improving data privacy as well, but it isn’t the only option. Another way we can better protect the personal data that’s being collected, accessed, or stored by IoT devices is to add data encryption to IoT environments. The IoT devices we use on a regular basis don’t typically use data encryption or encrypted communications, but most modern smartphones offer these options. This would allow IoT vendors to improve the security of their consumer technologies on a fundamental level.
By adding in these layers of security we can significantly advance IoT protections and ensure that security comes hand-in-hand with convenience.
FREE INFOGRAPHIC: The Authentication Landscape
Protecting IoT Access
As we’ve discussed in the past, it is also important to enhance the access security of IoT devices with multi factor authentication (MFA), particularly with biometrics. Adding biometric authentication in will provide the necessary proof of identity to ensure that your private data stays that way. Combined with advanced encryption, this is a key first step in making the IoT trend more secure, which in turn will make it more reliable and provide further opportunities to integrate some of these fantastic technologies into our lives.