In this day and age, our reliance on technology can often be underestimated and taken for granted. However, when the worst does happen, we are often reminded about just how vulnerable we and our technologies can be to those that may wish to cause harm or damage.
As more and more of our personal and business lives occur across data-collecting, network-connected devices, the more we inherit the risks of our personal and confidential data being damaged or stolen.
However, the emergence and expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) has shown that there is a demand for such technologies and services. It seems that, in order for the continued growth of the IoT, privacy and security will need to be put first when it comes to new and emerging technologies.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the privacy and security challenges currently being faced as well as our list of five reasons as to why these two elements are essential for a prosperous Internet of Things. So, let’s jump straight in.
Privacy & Security Challenges
We’re all familiar with the concept of cyber-attacks and hacking and in recent years we’ve all been thoroughly reminded of how vulnerable our data is with some of the biggest brands and institutions suffering huge breaches of data and intellectual property at the hands of either lone wolf or state-sponsored hackers.
Whether it be ransomware such as the Bad Rabbit malware that struck Europe last year and locked users of infected computers out of their machines then demanded a ransom, or large-scale DDoS attacks that utilize botnets comprised of millions of infected machines, the risks we face are both numerous and becoming more and more intelligent as our ability to defend against them does.
In order for cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things and advanced automation to remain feasible in the future, our ability to protect both the devices themselves and those that use them will need to be ensured.
5 Reasons Privacy and Security are Essential
In order to ensure that the growth of the internet of things, coupled with advances in both defense and security mechanisms as well as the tools used to try to hack networks and cause damage, doesn’t turn into a web of nightmares, privacy and security will need to be at the forefront of many future developments in order to secure them from current threats while also being prepared to face those that remain as yet unknown.
Here are our five reasons why privacy and security are essential for continued IoT growth.
In order for people to use the various smart devices and IoT wearables that generate and collect data from them, they need to trust the product and the company selling it. If this isn’t the case, nobody is going to wear anything.
Knowing that any data that is collected on them will be stored by the business that collects it as securely as possible will go a long way in earning the trust of the public, especially in times such as these when data breaches seem to occur increasingly frequently.
Intelligence agencies and technology companies are both relied upon to keep our countries safe from threats that could threaten national security.
With the technologies that enable cyber-attacks becoming increasingly advanced, adequately securing critical infrastructure is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge for many countries around the world.
If a terrorist group were to somehow replicate the Stuxnet worm, for example, and unleash it on a nuclear plant located elsewhere in the world the consequences could be catastrophic.
With this in mind, it seems obvious as to why security should be at the forefront of any new technological developments.
While terrorists or hacktivists may target specific corporations or institutions due to religious or political ideologies, the consequences of their actions can affect every individual that has ever been involved with that specific corporation or institution.
The recent revelations about the misuse of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica have shown that even the biggest names in technology are not entirely protected from data misuse and the new European GDPR regulations that come into effect on May 25th of this year will look to give greater rights and protections to EU citizens about the use of their data.
One of the biggest problems caused by cyber-attacks, hacks, and data breaches is the reputational damage the do to the businesses or organisations they affect.
If a company is responsible for the loss of all of its customer’s personal details, the damage that will do to their brand name can often take a heavy toll on those unfortunate enough to be attacked by cyber criminals or those who didn’t put into place the adequate protections.
By reassuring customers that their data and privacy are protected, enterprises and institutions will then have their permission to use their data through IoT devices in order to provide ever more expansive services.
5-Fear of The Unknown
One of the biggest causes for hesitancy when it comes to adopting new IoT devices and technologies is the uncertainty that surrounds their long-term viability. Will they prove so ridiculously vulnerable to attack in 5 years’ time we’ll need to overhaul everything again?
By demonstrating to their customers that their products have been built using a privacy and security by design framework, IoT companies will strengthen the trust between themselves and their customers and help to promote privacy, security and the continued growth of a sustainable and secure Internet of Things.