Seven best practices for internet of things.

Author:Trevathan, Matt
Position:DATABASE AND NETWORK INTELLIGENCE: OPINION
 
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One of the terms that is getting more and more visibility is the "Internet of Things" or IoT. According to IDC: In 2008, there were already more "things" connected to the Internet than people.

So what is IoT?

Technology and telecommunications firms are linking "things" as diverse as smartphones, cars, industrial sensors and household appliances to the Internet, enabling intercommunication and data transfer. By 2020, the amount of Internet-connected things will reach over 50 billion, with $19 trillion in profits and cost savings coming from Internet of Things (IoT) over the next decade. Connected homes will be a huge part of this and it's estimated that 90% of cars will be connected to the Internet as compared to 10% in 2012.

For businesses, governments and consumers alike, IoT brings with it a great deal to look forward to: smarter cities and healthcare through remote monitoring and sensors and a better ways of targeting customers. However, there are concerns that once machines start monitoring local conditions, as well as us, we could be walking into a security time-bomb.

In my job as a software developer and product manager, I always look at the security side of things first when developing and designing a product attached to the Internet. It's no wonder that there are articles online about security holes that hackers find to bypass logins, hijack sessions or tamper with a controller or web interface on an IoT device, be that in the form of wearables, smart home systems or more business-focused machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.

With these stats, and my background, I am amazed that the security breaches are because of commonly known exploits that are identified, documented and distributed by security groups such as Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).

OWASP is an online community that includes corporations, educational organisations and individuals dedicated to web application security. It creates projects to raise awareness about web application security and one such project is OWASP Top 10 application security risks, which identifies some of the most critical risks facing organisations deploying web applications. Many of these application security risks are missed when deploying IoT devices even though many of these devices have a web application interface.

Importance of security

Many consumers will install new devices--smart TVs, kitchen appliances and light bulbs, without expecting them to have any computing abilities or...

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