The Raritan Blog

IoT is Taking Over, Secure and Prepare Yourself

Rick Gonedes
February 23, 2018

According to the Gartner research company, the number of devices with wireless internet connectivity is expected to approach 21 billion by the year 2020. That places the average person, globally, in possession of roughly 1.6 wireless devices. In the west, the estimate per person is four to five such devices. This is the Internet of Things (IoT), and the one thing that’s certain is you will have a potentially unlimited number of tech vendors vying for your attention, information, and money.

The first thing we should understand in this coming sea of connectivity is the rights of customers. As a customer in the IoT world you will have the right to;

  • Uninterrupted coverage
  • Open industry standards
  • Protection from unauthorized access and detection
  • Access to a wide range of vendors
  • Consistent performance across devices and locations
  • Power efficient devices that communicate as needed
  • Access to proven platforms
  • Guaranteed levels of service
  • Wide scalability
  • Long lasting, persistent network connectivity

As competition within IoT grows, these ten expectations will increasingly represent vectors by which users can assess the quality of the service they receive. Any infringement of these rights can also serve as a warning sign that users may have a security problem.

The scale of the problem may be hard to imagine now, to understand the security risks that are approaching all you have to realize is how connected you are to an internet-connected device. Most households have at least one connected device that they use for a large chunk of things. As the IoT grows- people will have to adopt the technology in order to remain competitive in the workforce. That means your IoT service will be with you all of the time. Your mobile devices will interact with machines in your environment and be deeply interconnected with your daily productivity.

This is why basic Internet access has transformed from a plaything to an everyday necessity. Just as you have the right to expect your Internet service to function as expected in a secure and robust way- your IoT service will be equally indispensable.

So, what happens when your IoT security is breached?

Perhaps the best example can be found in the medical industry, which is adopting IoT faster than any other sector. Consider the fact that GPS devices are being used to track Alzheimer's patients and the developmentally disabled who could wander out of safety. What happens if a device belonging to such a vulnerable person gets hit with a denial of service attack?

Other significant vulnerabilities exist within manufacturing. These days, the manufacturing sector depends on IoT for basic functionality to monitor production and reduce inefficiencies. IoT has become so pervasive in manufacturing that companies cannot remain competitive on a day to day basis without constant service.

Other examples of IoT dependent industries include retail, transport, and even law enforcement.

Fortunately, IoT capability is not being implemented without concern for security. Manufacturers and security firms are working together to close backdoors and provide security on the level of the individual device. This means creating things like smartwatches, web-capable automobiles, and haptic toothbrushes that have the ability to safeguard the data they generate- doling it out only to authorized devices and recipients. It also means preventing bad-faith vendors from attacking the ability of a service provider to render connectivity and then offering their own service as a replacement.

As IoT continues to pervade our daily lives, we will endeavor to secure the gateways between devices and ensure the wealth of IoT data generated flows legitimate sources to legitimate repositories. Without a doubt, a noticeable level of uncertainty will present itself. But in time, those who are vigilant will successfully harness this technological wave and reap the benefits. Raritan understands the importance of security even with the expansion of IoT, to learn more about our safeguards in our PX intelligent PDUs, visit here.