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IoT Security, Standards and Challenges

(Lausanne, Switzerland - Alvin Wei-Cheng Wong)



- IoT Security Concerns Growing as 5G Networks Begin to Roll Out

IoT security is the technology area concerned with safeguarding connected devices and networks in the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT involves adding Internet connectivity to a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals and/or people. Each "thing" is provided a unique identifier and the ability to automatically transfer data over a network. Allowing devices to connect to the Internet opens them up to a number of serious vulnerabilities if they are not properly protected. With a staggering majority of devices – expected to reach more than 75 billion by 2025 – connected to vast networks and the Internet, reducing cyber risk becomes a critical focal point for the age of IoT.

IoT security is a growing concern. Your connected devices are data collectors. The personal information collected and stored with these devices - such as your name, age, health data, location and more - can aid criminals in stealing your identity. At the same time, the Internet of Things (IoT)  is a growing trend, with a stream of new products hitting the market. 

But here’s the problem: When you’re connected to everything, there are more ways to access your information. That can make you an attractive target for people who want to make a profit off of your personal data. Every connected device you own can add another privacy concern, especially since most of them connect to your smartphone. 


- The Role of 5G in IoT Security

With 5G networks, it’s not just a matter of doing more, faster. It’s also about fundamentally changing the opportunity set of what’s possible in the first place. Common examples of innovations cited as particularly benefiting from 5G technology include autonomous vehicles and remote surgery. With 5G technology, autonomous vehicles will be able to connect in real-time with each other, thereby solving problems like traffic management on the fly. With 5G technology, a surgeon in New York City would be able to advise on tests, scans and medical procedures anywhere in the world, in real-time.

Plus, at the same time, the number of connected devices is set to explode exponentially over the next few years. According to Statista, there will be 75 billion connected devices by 2025. Just by sheer numbers alone, that radically changes the potential attack surface for hackers. With so many devices connected to each other via a vast, invisible wireless mesh, it will put a premium on security tools specifically formulated for 5G security. And it will make device security paramount. By 2025, hackers will have their choice of 75 billion “weak links” in a security chain. If you thought that today’s botnet attacks are a scourge for IoT security, just imagine what will be possible in a few years. Not only will hackers be able to take down infrastructure and energy grids, but also they will be able to hack medical devices and bring a network of connected cars to a literal standstill.



[More to come ...]







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