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ITL Recap: IoT Security

At last weeks Leadership Meeting we learned that we are always being watched!  I want to thank Brian Greenberg for engaging us on the topic IoT Security and how to protect ourselves from the increasingly advanced network of hackers.  I would also like to thank Coopers Hawk and Relativity for hosting our meeting. Now let’s get down to the topic at hand; IoT Security!

Brian started the meeting describing what IoT really is and it’s many unique and identifiable qualities. The Internet of Things, better known as IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals (yes animals) or people that have unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without human or human to computer interaction. Brian stressed that it’s a unique network sharing data. Brian explained that Ipads, Desktops, and phones are not considered IoT, but smart thermostats, Alexa’s, fit bits, and smart refrigerators are.  By next year the global IoT market is projected to grow to $8.9T, and industrial manufacturing is predicted to increase to $890B in global IoT spending.

We then got into a worrisome discussion on the security of IoT, and how it affects not only a business but the consumers purchasing these products. At least 62% of adults own at least one connected device, smart TV’s being the most popular,  and nearly half of American adults own one. Almost all IoT devices are currently connected to the internet: Voice-command systems, smart home devices, and appliances.  The commercial/ consumer hacks are happening everywhere and invading our privacy without us even realizing these attacks are happening. Our nest security cameras are being hacked, allowing hackers a view into your private life, and the ability to watch your every move. Another example of a highly affected consumer product is the smart thermostat. Hackers are changing the temperature of your home, sometimes raising it to 90 degrees, and refusing to adjust the thermostat unless you pay the ransom. I was really looking forward to my smart refrigerator, but this may have changed my mind!

In the end, IoT Security is still a work in progress. We would like to thank all that attended the meeting last Friday. If you are interested in learning more about what was discussed, check out the slides here.