The internet of things (IOT) has been defined as a, ‘system consisting of networks of sensors, actuators and smart objects whose purpose is to interconnect all things.’ The IOT are the most significant developing technologies in recent years. Current applications of the IOT include:
- The Health sectors – monitoring patients.
- Agricultural – using drones and autonomous and connected vehicles to improve efficiency.
- Advertising – collecting data through the IOT.
- Efficient living – Smart metres and smart home devices.
- Transport – connected vehicles which log and transmit data.
- Industry – automated warehouses, manufacturing processes and automated delivery options.
- Public sectors – smart monitoring of public spaces and automated response.
Emerging applications and growth areas include:
- Smart cities – autonomous and remote managing. Video surveillance and facial recognition.
- Intelligent and fully automated systems – as developments in artificial intelligence advance, its use in combination with the IOT will lead to increased capabilities for everyday systems and objects.
- Advances in security software.
- Connected and autonomous vehicles.
However, many of these devises have been found to contain security vulnerabilities’ such as, cameras, webcams, cars, medical devices, yachts, military drones, automated teller machines (ATM) and even smart toilets.
The interaction with these devices is much more complicated than one user with one computer. There is a vast variety of users and devices all communicating and interacting simultaneously. Smart devices are collecting, processing, distributing, and reacting to information often unknown to many users. Control systems for air conditioning, heating and elevators are all connected to the internet. Along with medical equipment, smart home appliances and security systems. Often these devises are only protected with default passwords that are easy to predict, with some requiring no verification at all.
Smartphones are incredibly vulnerable to attacks as they often contain considerable amounts of sensitive and financial information, away from the security of a home network. More than 60% of online fraud is achieved through phones, with 80% of that fraud accomplished through mobile apps. In the UK, the Computer Misuse Act 1990 does not define the meaning of the word computer which allows the law to keep pace with advancing technology, such as smartphones.
It is important to remember the integrity and confidentiality principle of the General Data Protection Regulation which was incorporated into domestic law with the Data Protection Act 2018. You need to make sure you have appropriate and adequate security measures to protect the data you hold. Failure to comply with this principle can result in substantial financial penalties. (It is often in the news when a larger company faces a fine for a data breach) Under the GDPR fines can now be up to ‘20 million Euros or 4% of the undertakings total annual worldwide turnover in the preceding financial year, whichever is higher.’ When it comes to security you should also consider the IOT in order to protect your customers data.
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