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CyberSecurity Challenges for the Internet of Things (IoT), Business and Industry Trends Analysis

IoT is a revolutionary, disruptive technological concept.  It is also potentially invasive of our homes, offices, automobiles and even our outdoor surroundings.  Since the whole point of IoT is to gather data at the “endpoint,” that is at the point where the data is created, and then analyze that data in remote computer systems, often with ultra-powerful artificial intelligence, it is designed to surround us.  IoT will gather and transmit data about mundane things like what temperature we set on our thermostats and what items we put in refrigerators.  On a more personal basis, it will know where we are heading in our vehicles, what we look like as we pass by a digital camera and perhaps what we weigh when we get on a bathroom scale.  The possibilities are endless.  Unfortunately, the possibilities for abuse are likewise endless, including the potential for hackers to enter our homes and offices via IoT devices.  Used well, IoT will make the world more convenient, efficient, environmentally sound and “safer”.  But, that potential for “safer” has a big “IF” in front of it.
Radical new ways of blocking hackers, spyware, malware, abuse of personal data and uninvited invasion of privacy are called for if consumers and businesses are going to feel enthusiastic enough about IoT to invest in and utilize new devices, such as IoT-enabled appliances and health monitors in the home, intelligent transportation technologies in cars and advanced inventory or machinery management in factories and offices.  This means an urgent need for improved network and device security at all levels, from firewalls and Wi-Fi routers to advanced software on devices and nodes. 
One pioneer in developing secure technologies for the world of IoT is Boston-based Cybereason, Inc., www.cybereason.com, which is focused on securing connected endpoint devices.  Companies that can solve security needs may eventually have a global market of 1 trillion connected devices or more.  Likewise, Veridify Security, www.veridify.com, formerly SecureRF, is developing innovative security solutions for IoT devices.
IoT relies heavily on Wi-Fi, which is notoriously open to hacking, as well as on advanced 5G wireless services.  Unfortunately, security and malware on smartphones and wireless monitors are already a great concern.  Thousands of stories already abound in the news media of clever ways that hackers have utilized thermostats and other devices connected to business networks in order to enter servers and extract critical data files.  One example is hackers that utilized a connection made to a non-secure thermostat on a large aquarium in a U.S. casino.
Traditionally, connected devices in the home or office, such as alarm systems, smart thermostats and webcams, have not been well protected from hacking.  Consumers of IoT at all levels, from individual households to government agencies, businesses and industrial giants, will soon face a significant challenge:  What device and wireless service brands can they trust?  At what level are they willing to trade privacy for the potential efficiencies of IoT-enabled devices?


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