The Internet of Things (IoT) doesn’t exactly boast a reassuring name. Especially the “Things” part. That sounds to me as if we still haven’t completely figured out what IoT is all about. Even though we have made good progress on this journey compared to 2 years ago, I still have a hard time explaining to non-technical people what the Internet of Things is.
However, far more problematic is the fact that many people do believe they understand what the IoT is about, yet they miss the bigger picture. The Internet of Things is not something to be compared with emerging technologies like virtual or augmented reality. The IoT is real. Any bugs in this technology can have serious implications in the real world. Together with the rise of artificial intelligence, this duo could bring about a dangerous combination.
There are many reasons we should not treat the IoT like any other emerging technology. While Terminator has brought the dangers of AI into pop culture, it will not be surprising if the same happens with the IoT very soon.
Before getting overly enthusiastic about the vast possibilities of the IoT space, let’s have a closer look at the dangers of it.
Internet of Unsecure Things
While bugs can break software and render it useless in a worst case scenario, implications in the IoT space are far more serious. What if a flaw in your new shiny connected thermostat accidentally drops your home’s temperatures rather than increasing them in winter, bursting water pipes in your home? How about connected IoT light bulbs turning on in the middle of the night awakening you from your well-deserved sleep? These scenarios might sound absurd, but they are real possibilities.
Medicine is sensitive territory here. Where medicine and bleeding edge tech meets it is hard not to see the potential dangers. A woman who receives a heart pacemaker with wireless capabilities could create a vulnerability in her very own body for hackers to access and misuse — hackers could hold her life in their hands.
With IFTTT already offering many IoT features to the masses (we’ve covered IFTTT a few times here at SitePoint!), the digital world and the physical world are already moving much closer together. Under such circumstances, it makes sense to raise concerns for security measures on connected devices, as implications could be way more severe than any old fashioned software bug.
Continue reading %Why the Internet of Things Still Has a Long Way to Go%
via Reme Le Hane