Does the Internet of Things have a trust problem?

By Crispin Heath on Thursday, 11 August 2016

At this year’s Def Con, the hacker conference held in Las Vegas, all talk was about the Internet of Things’ (IoT) security shortcomings. The IoT is making a lot of people’s lives easier, but at a potentially very high cost.

From data leaks and bugs to basic holes in protection, security issues are cropping up at the same rate as new IoT connected devices and services are launched. And consumers are starting to notice.

A recent report by the Mobile Ecosystem Forum, showed that 60% of consumers don’t trust connected devices, and that their primary concerns about the IoT are privacy (62%) and security (54%).

For some connected devices a security breach would be enough to completely undermine the supposed benefits of connectivity – imagine a smart front door that can be hacked to open for anyone. For others, a breach could have much larger knock on effects within the wider connected ecosystem – like an unsecured heating system providing access to an otherwise secure data storage facility.

With the IoT projected to deliver $1.9billion in economic benefits by 2020, the race is on to make the IoT more robustly secure and allay the fears of consumers and big business alike before the kind of potential disaster outlined above (which you may remember from the first season of Mr Robot) really happens.

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