Security is a Concern for The Internet of Things

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 12, 2015

The Internet of Things (IoT) was big news at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and many of the biggest tech companies had related announcements. Apple wan't demonstrating, but partners had the first set of devices that are HomeKit certified, which is Apple’s protocol for allowing smart home devices to work with the iOS platform. And, Google announced 15 new partners in “Work With Nest,” its developer program for adding third-party devices to Nest devices and networks.

As the Internet of Things marches forward, though, there are also some concerns about security.

Many people have some level of familiarity with how the Internet of Things will make everyday devices and objects smarter, but it's also important to understand that it will also extend all kinds of devices toward the cloud and new types of networks. For example, The Linux Foundation is expanding its platform framework with an AllJoyn Gateway Agent that extends the Internet of Things footprint beyond any user's local environment, over to the cloud.

As these types of connections take place, some are voicing concerns about security. According to a recent survey from Zebra Technology, more than 95 percent of retailers are about to embrace the Internet of Things, and as devices and tools in their stores relay information about you to the cloud and beyond, how secure might your personal information be? In the Zebra Technology survey, 56 percent of respondents listed integration challenges as the top barrier to IoT implementations, while 47 percent mentioned security and privacy as a chief concern.

USA Today quoted Keith Shank, Director of Ericsson North America's Advanced Technology Labs, on the topic:

"New things are scary, without a doubt. We're working with [other companies] to create a truly secure back-end cloud concept.The cloud isn't just about storage, it's about making secure connections for everyone and everything around you. How do you find when people have breached it? How do you find what data they've breached? How do you keep that breach from happening again? We have to have the security, we have to have the knowledge of how to fix things."

The Linux Foundation oversees one of the biggest Internet of Things initiatives: The AllSeen Aliance. The foundation's Jim Zemlin's thoughts on IoT llustrate the fact that the AllSeen Alliance is set to put in place a number of important standards, including open standards. Hopefully, the alliance will also be successful in protecting the security of the Internet of Things.

The  Allseen Alliance now has 112 members and is billed as "the broadest cross-industry consortium to date to advance adoption and innovation in the 'Internet of Everything' in homes and industry." You can read more about it here.