Are IoT developers paying attention to security?


The article “Are IoT developers paying attention to security?” appeared in The Telegraph on October 12 and explores how personal and corporate data can be kept safe in light of the rise of connected devices. 
The article begins “You can now readily buy ‘smart’ door locks, coffee machines, garden sprinklers and even teddy bears – all with their own apps and all connected to the internet. Such Internet of Things (IoT) devices are all around us, most visibly in the form of CCTV cameras and devices such as smart electricity metres.” 
“Analyst Gartner predicts that there will be 8.4 billion IoT devices on the planet by the end of this year. But at present, many IoT gadgets are not as secure as they should be, and could put private data at risk, according to Scott Cairns, Chief Technology Officer, at T-Systems UK.”
“Your security depends on who is producing your IoT devices but anyone and everyone is making them. It’s difficult to know your data is safe unless you shop carefully”, says Scott Cairns
The article continues, “Businesses using smart devices such as thermostats and security cameras need to be doubly careful. Mr Cairns says: ‘If your business uses these, you’re basically extending the boundaries of your corporate network. With any sensors that are being used in ‘the wild’, you need to ensure the data is being encrypted at that point; otherwise it may be at risk.” 
“What needs to happen across the board is what’s already happening in mobile, where companies such as Samsung have a good record of encrypting data on the device.” 
A recent research from T-Systems in the UK shows that nearly 30% of working-age households already own smart Wi-Fi enabled devices. These range from lightbulbs, fridges, and security cameras, to gadgets like the Amazon Echo and Samsung’s Smart Hub. 
This rapid uptake is creating huge business opportunities, but it is sadly also creating opportunities for cyber criminals to take control of these devices, or use them as a backdoor into corporate networks. The threat comes from employees working at home on devices that have been infected, and then transferring documents back into their organisation’s systems. It also arises when employees bring personal devices to work, and connect to their PC. 
For more details about emerging threats, get the T-Systems Cyber Threats to Business Networks report here:
Further reading around “How we can stay open and secure?” when using connected devices can be found on The Telegraph Open Business.