The Internet of Things (IoT) allows for every day devices to be connected to each other via the Internet. With each passing year, it appears as though we grow closer and closer to a world that is inherently connected– and 2017 is no exception. Experts have many predictions and expectations for what the new year will bring to the IoT world; here are four of the most hotly discussed of these predictions:
Government Acceptance and Regulations
Business and consumers are expected to be the largest areas of growth when it comes to IoT adoption and implementation; However, it is predicted that governments will be the second-largest sector to adopt IoT ecosystems during 2017. With the changing of presidential power in the United States later this month, and President-elect Trump’s planfor tackling cybersecurity threats, it is likely that at least within the next four years, some approach on the government end will be made to try and protect against the intrinsic security flaws of IoT devices. Many cyber security professionals are urging these government officials to require higher levels of strong security built into these vulnerable devices.
Virtual reality (VR) was made widely popular among consumers in 2016 with wearable headsets that allowed you to become semi-immersed in a virtual world, just by looking around with a pair of goggles on your head. This area of IoT is expected to have a shift from growth that focuses on these wearable hardware devices to developing more software–primarily in regards to content creation.
2017 is said to be the year that top-level content creators will try and make this semi-immersive experience even more captivating and realistic than ever before. While primarily seen in the gaming industry thus far, the tourism industry is expected incorporate VR technology into their marketing strategies–allowing customers added benefits to their experiences while on their trips and in previewing future trips as well. This is just one of the advancements of digital marketing, another area of IoT that is expected to grow greatly in 2017.
It is expected that consumer use of these wearable devices, especially those with a connected smartphone adaptability component, will skyrocket alongside these expected software advancements.
While, to most of us, Artificial Intelligence (AI) sounds like something far off into the future, it is a component of the technological world that is already impacting our lives today. Smart cars, GPS, Virtual Personal Assistants like Siri and Alexa, and almost any other household smart devices fall under the broad category that is modern AI. Because these devices are connected through the Internet, experts have some predictions for Artificial Intelligence that are likely to affect the IoT world. These predictions are best stated by Code42 chief security officer and chief privacy officer, Rick Orloff:
“There is a big distinction between artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial general intelligence (AGI). The former is akin to your GPS finding the best route to the airport, with the latter being associated with actual intelligent thought, which ties into robotics. As we rely on artificial intelligence to handle more tasks and both these categories evolve, we’re going to see a huge demand in 2017 for security skills applied to AGI, AI, and robotics, even more so when you combine AGI and robotics. The need for better real-time data correlation to improve the service stack as well as the security stack will become a critical skill set.”
-Rick Orloff, CSO/CPO, Code42
Smart cities are those cities that integrate technology, specifically IoT, solutions into the overall management of their assets–including schools, hospitals, power plants, and many more integral players in the community. According to the Internet of Things Institute, Singapore is currently the smartest city in the world for its use of IoT technology to run its operations. Along with other IoT related phenomena, smart cities are expected to be on the rise across the globe in 2017. There is predicted to be a special focus on investment models to support the implementation of city-wide energy efficient systems, according to Analysys Mason.
These smart cities are excellent in using technology to allow their citizens to collaborate, but it is not a challenge-less process. Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, global director, Smart Cities Strategies at IDC, had this to say in regards to the growing popularity of these IoT-run towns:
“The awareness of the potential of Smart Cities has grown exponentially over the past year. States, provinces, counties, cities, and national governments realize they can positively alter the lives of millions of urban residents with the technology and data-driven opportunities digital transformation provides. This transformation is not without challenges, as a broad ecosystems of partners must work together to implement complex initiatives, and this will affect the entire program life cycle from policies and regulation to worker training and process improvements.”
-Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, global director, Smart Cities Strategies at IDC.
While all of these advancements in the IoT realm of the technology world are exciting, one major flaw that is expected to continue is the hacking of IoT smart devices. This will bring about infinite new approaches, solutions, and business models in the fight to keep these devices protected. Among many other ways which will develop alongside their growing threat counterparts, here are a few ways in which you can protect your home against IoT threats.
- Turn off remote access to your devices when not in use–When at all possible, turn off remote access to your IoT devices. By leaving a device active while not in use, you are leaving it extremely vulnerable to use in a cyber attack, such as DDoS or even ransomware.
- Change all device login credentials from their default settings– Change your usernames and passwords to something hard to guess rather than leaving them vulnerable by using the same, basic credentials that came installed on your devices when you bought them. This is likely the same password used on similar devices, and using such passwords make them even more vulnerable to attack–once hackers figure out the password to one default device, they’ll be able to infect and take hostage any other device left in its default settings.
- Update your systems early and often– Stay on top of your system updates so that your network is well-protected. Activate fully automatic updates if it is hard for you to remember to update frequently, as it is for many of us. By doing this, you will never be behind in securing your devices with the most up-to-date protections.
- Research. Research. Research.– Before you bring any connected devices into your home, you need to do your research to learn about the devices’ security features. As more and more consumers become cognizant of the security flaws that come installed in smart devices, such as vulnerable backdoors, manufacturers will need to begin taking note and creating these devices with security in mind. Until that time, protect yourself by doing a simple Google search to find out if your desired device is right for you.
Hailey R. Carlson | Axiom Cyber Solutions | 01/05/2017