Can IoT Vendors and Buyers Learn Lessons From the Past? by Brent Whitfield

November 13, 2018

When Bluetooth technology first came on to the scene, security savvy 'killjoys' were quick to point out the potential downsides. Bluetooth technology was less secure than WiFi, unencrypted data was vulnerable to interception and there were even fears that Bluetooth devices could be used to hack smartphones and use them in DDoS attacks.

Their warnings were drowned out. Vendors shouted only about the benefits of Bluetooth-enabled devices and buyers were more concerned about what they could do with their device than about what could be done to them as soon as their Bluetooth was turned on and their device set to discoverable. The fears of the experts have since turned out to be completely founded in fact.

Many of the same issues are now being raised by security experts with respect to internet-connected devices – the building blocks of the expanding Internet of Things (IoT). Will vendors and consumers listen this time?

The number and type of devices that can be connected to the internet grow day by day. Cars, TVs, refrigerators, webcams, wearables, virtual assistants (Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.), modems, network attached storage (NAS), smart locks, connected doors, the list goes on. Then there are the wave of smart business-related devices designed to improve productivity.

Despite the fact that the IoT has already been harnessed in....

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