We have become, somewhat unfortunately, all too aware of the risks when dealing with the internet in our online dealings. Due to the recent, and rather disastrous, hacks of Equifax and Target, we have been inundated by the swathes of lexiconic information regarding cybersecurity. This is not a bad thing as we have seen a uniform trend indicating that the problem of hackers in the wild is far from over.
Now, let's discuss why the Internet of Things (IoT) needs more cybersecurity investment in the age of unbridled cybercrime.
The fallout of these recent attacks has been widely publicized and may have impacted your life in ways that are continuously dreaming you and your family.
Major Breaches Are a Real Threat
“Imagine the kind of havoc you could wreak with even a few isolated data points from this set,” writes Devin Coldewey for TechCrunch. “Phishing teams and other scammers must be having the time of their lives: with so much official data to use, it’s that much easier to convince someone that a service or email is legitimate. Images of licenses and passports could lead to more sophisticated fraud at borders or in other government situations as well.”
For example, the Equifax hack, although credit-based, involved the pilfering of sensitive personal data, including birth dates, driver’s license number, social security numbers, and home addresses amongst other unfathomable things.
This, if anything, highlights the reason why we need cyber security on all fronts to be funded to their potential maximums. There is no piece of data produced from you that is unimportant or unhackable. Especially in the context of IoT, where we have multiple devices producing massive amounts of data, possibly on a single, vulnerable network.
Adoption Will Continue to Rise
“Despite continued security problems, the IoT will spread and people will become increasingly dependent on it” posits Richard Adler, distinguished fellow at the institute for the future. “The cost of breaches will be viewed like the toll taken by car crashes, which have not persuaded very many people not to drive.” In essence, IoT is here to stay—and needs a seatbelt.
Because of this, you must be diligent and use every resource available to fight back against the mounting masses of malicious, haughty hackers. If you think a smart device connected to your WiFi is perfectly protected and only housing innocuous information, you are simply mistaken.
“The diverse threats we face are increasingly cyber-based,” said former director of the FBI, James Comey. “Much of America's most sensitive data is stored on computers. We are losing data, money, and ideas through cyber intrusions. This threatens innovation and, as citizens, we are also increasingly vulnerable to losing our personal information.”
We Need More Cybersecurity Investment
Ultimately, cybersecurity is our only hope against this massive influx of hackers with malicious intent and more access to technology than ever before. IoT puts many more potential access points in our lives that can be exploited for personal gain at your expense. Most new devices, such as smart refrigerators and thermostats, do not have many levels of overly complex security.
As convenient and empowering tech as IoT is, there is a way to better protect your privacy, control, and transparency. It just requires more cyber security research, funding, and investment.
Any intrusion into your home network or office intranet is all a hacker needs to get enough information to steal data and spoof accounts. It is truly the wild west when it comes to cybersecurity. There is no greater method of combating the craze than investing heavily into cybersecurity product development and research.
This, combined with deft implementation of personal digital security, will ensure that your data has the best bet against cybercrime. We must all work together to combat this technological affliction with due diligence and enough education to know what to do. IoT is a wonder of the modern era and we should all be interested in ensuring that the goal is reached for the sake of the world.
Michael Volkmann is an entrepreneur with a focus on business operations and finance.