IoT Innovation, Issue 5

Where we look at predictive maintenance in rail


The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to evolve and even more connected devices are set to appear on the market this year. With increasing amounts of data being shared and generated by these devices, though, the security question is more important than ever. Advancements in technology and improved connectivity mean that cyber criminals are maturing too, and last year’s DDoS attack on streaming applications like Spotify and Netflix demonstrated how vulnerable machines can be.

In order to protect users and connected devices, IoT security requires some serious measures. With modern cyber attacks, it’s no longer enough for a user just to change their passwords once every couple of months. In the recent
DDoS attack, users couldn’t change their passwords, which created the perfect conditions for Mirai opening
- a malware that turns a computer system running Linux into remotely controlled bots. The botnet is capable of targeting a wide range of connected devices, which are then unable to protect personal data.

Advanced security requires time, funding, and thorough testing, but
in order to stay relevant in a hyper-competitive environment, some manufacturers try to reduce time to market by underdeveloping or ignoring vital security features. However, it is up to them to provide the right level of cyber security for users, otherwise, it won’t take long before someone launches another attack that could severely damage corporate reputation.

Protection of the IoT is a costly affair, however, it’s much cheaper to test and experiment at early product stages than deal with hacked smart devices post factum. One consequence of a failure to adequately invest early in testing is that more money has to be spent on the potential recall of products and it will take time for PR and marketing teams to fix the reputational damage. In such a competitive market, where over a billion of connected devices are expected to be deployed by 2020, there is no room for mistakes.

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