The Internet of Things (IoT) has made life easy for people around the world. But with convenience comes consequence. Besides haunting people named Alexa, smart devices are leaving homes and buildings vulnerable to hacking. The issue only worsens when you take into account how many day-to-day devices require an internet connection. For example, I use an Alexa to set timers when I cook, an app on my phone controls all the lights in my house, and I can monitor the security of my entire home with my Ring app from anywhere in the world.
But so can hackers. In fact, it’s because these devices can be controlled anywhere that they are so dangerous to our security and privacy. A hacker on the opposite side of the world can essentially hijack your business campus or home and cause chaos. Turning the lights on and off might seem small. And, to a degree, it isn’t a massive issue. However, as the IoT takes over more and more devices, it leaves us with potential vulnerabilities down the line. And, it already poses problems to existing IoT devices like elevators, HVAC’s, emergency devices, and more.
Here’s an example: CPAP’s used for sleep apnea. The newest sleep apnea CPAP’s come with a cellular connection baked into the device. From this, data can be sent from your device to your doctor. Conversely, doctors can send setting changes to your device, tweaking pressure and humidity sensitivities as they adjust treatment over time. This is incredible. The fact that doctors can analyze your sleep reports, make changes, and you do nothing, is life-changing. But what happens when those devices, which protect millions of people around the world from sleep apnea side effects (like brain damage), become the target of hackers?
Or, what happens when an apartment complex relies on IoT for infrastructure? A hacker could potentially shut down entire water systems to renters at a moment’s notice. Is your business monitored by IoT security systems? Emergency systems?
The potential is infinite as devices become more connected to the internet. Bad actors exist and they are taking note of how easy it is to shut down entire businesses and homes. Some attempts are being made to address these vulnerabilities via IoT standards. Apple, Google, and a variety of big tech companies started an IoT standard called “Matter.” Some see this as a solution so that smaller companies with fewer resources can develop IoT devices that are secure. However, having standards used by thousands of companies also means that one vulnerability could affect every company using Matter standards. Listen to today’s episode of the podcast to learn more.
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-Russia & Belarus deepen ties.
-Norwegian elections are going to disappoint climate activists.
-Tuna are coming back after almost being hunted to extinction. The opposite is happening with sharks.
Blaine’s Twitter: @furpep