The IoT, Is Resistance Futile? 1


Recently, we hear more and more that the Internet of Things (IoT) is the wave we must all catch if we want to be part of the future in web and business. The thought is that all the devices we use will be connected to make sure we are part of the collective, and thus resistance is futile. Do we have a reason to resist? According to recent reports from the cyber security world, we do have a reason to resist, namely the lack of security in IoT.

The whole idea of joining the collective is to become more secure and resilient to attacks and threats. That doesn’t seem to be the case with IoT because mostly all devices that are internet connected are vulnerable to attacks. Even devices that people’s lives depend on like insulin pumps, pacemakers, and other medical devices, as we read from John Mello at Tech News World.

This scenario illustrates the risk we are introducing into our society when using disruptive technologies like IoT. There seems to exist an inherent lack of respect for us humans in the current culture, and with it also a lack of interest from us humans about what is important for us. Our addiction to all things tech has us chasing after the newest gadget, while corporations (and government) develop more ways to hook us by gathering data on our every move.

The average individual needs to gain understanding about a few principal concerns: confidentiality, integrity, and availability (also known as CIA) before becoming assimilated into the IoT collective because some things just cannot be undone easily or at all. As with the case of most technology, once IoT enters the picture it will become part of the social fabric and cannot be removed, providing an extraordinary opportunity for security breaches in all areas of our lives.

There are many questions we should be asking before we jump into the IoT bandwagon. How is it that we can enter this wonderful collective that is IoT and not be burned? How can we share the responsibility of security with service providers, device, and OS manufacturers? How can we trust that the industry will self-regulate and provide safety? Can we trust that our self-driving car won’t drive off a bridge while we dose off in the front seat?

It does not appear that IoT is a self-regulating industry. They have already shown little interest in our security. If anything, the recent agreement between Ford, MIT, and the cell phone companies (collecting location data from our cell phones to predict traffic patterns) indicates that they don’t care much about our privacy, and they get around it by writing it into their terms of use. How far will companies go to collect data on our every move so they can sell us more products?

This time we may need intervention. Unfortunately, governments and law enforcement worldwide don’t seem too concerned with providing this type of security. It would require proactive actions to avoid crimes, new privacy laws and regulations limiting what is allowed inserted into agreements and terms of use.

In short, because of this scenario, I have to recommend resistance to IoT. Avoid it as much as you can. When out shopping for new tech, make sure to ask for internet disconnected appliances and medical devices, and do the best you can to limit exposing your life to hackers.


About Al Almeida

Successfully leading IT operations, including strategic planning and executive decision making for IT processes, compliance, cyber-security, enterprise systems, infrastructure, architecture, policy and governance (ITIL), financial management, and cloud-based services. Expertise in leading and inspiring top-performing teams in the development, deployment, and support of enterprise software (ERP, CMS, SaaS). Background in high-visibility project portfolio management of multi-system projects supporting global clients with multi-million-dollar capitalizations.

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