The buzz phrase du jour, the ‘Internet of Things’, – AKA the “Internet of Everything” – refers to a myriad of everyday devices which are being connected to the Internet, each with its own IP address. The IoT will comprise large numbers of such low-cost “smart” devices, up to 26 billion by 2020, according Gartner. They range from “smart” watches (Hi Apple!) to microwaves, and heart monitors to “smart” power grids.
Predictably, the hype about the future benefits is in full force. And, yes, some of these benefits may actually happen. However, based on past disruptive trends, we can be certain that: (1) hackers, crackers, and attackers will not be slow to spot new opportunities for badware; (2) the IoT will generate gigantic amounts of data at very high velocity, with associated privacy concerns, and (3) boring stuff like updates and patches are going to be tough to do.
The question, “What Can Possibly Go Wrong?”, must temper out enthusiasm for this immersive new environment so that we can avoid some of the security disasters of the past, particularly in sensitive industries, like healthcare and nationwide utility grids. This session will review the IoT from the viewpoint of cybersecurity and data privacy and develop some guidelines for the pragmatic and cautious user.