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IOT Security Concerns To Be Aware Of In 2016

Malicious attacks in our day and age

8Feb

The Internet of Things has been spoken of as the next big thing for the past few years. Already, a number of household appliances are capable of connecting to the Internet and making your life easier. Yet there remain some security concerns early on because it will likely only take one horror movie where the villain hacks a person's home and home appliances, for public opinion to start to shift.

To avoid that, many firms have decided to use state of the art smartphone software that allows only the owner of the physically connected object to connect securely and program or change whatever the object is. If you have a coffee pot that is connected and you want to reset the timer for it, for example, you can do so using a secure application.

For those who say that smartphones and tablets are just as vulnerable to hacking attempts, looking at the success of smartphone controlled door locks would suggest otherwise, as there have been few reports of people who have had their door locks hacked and reprogrammed to let burglars in while they are away.

Interestingly enough, when the iPod first came and before the iPhone appeared, there were several thefts of iPods because they were so popular. Today, it is not that common for thieves to do the easy thing and steal someone's smartphone so that they can access their IOT connected devices. It is far too easy for the owner to shut down any type of service before a thief can get too far. On the other hand, owners of smartphones that have a monthly payment and no contract may find that it is difficult to shut that actual prepaid time down if their phone is stolen, making it easier for those who still do have a contract to use its privileges to protect their IOT devices.

Cars have been another area where some manufacturers have allowed owners to use their cellphones to start the engine allowing it warms up on a cold day before they get into the car.

With cars, although there has been extensive testing to ensure that vehicles cannot be controlled, hackers have shown that they can access some systems on some models with a live Internet connection. It is therefore critical for manufacturers to extensively test to avoid malicious attacks.

Lastly, cheap Internet-capable sensors are now available that act like security devices when coupled with a sound or laser system. The primary problem with this type of system is not that they can be hacked, but that they are being exploited to set up perimeters for gangs in urban areas throughout the United States. They couple well with cameras and remote card readers to pull id's and pop up names on a screen. 

If you add directed sound as most retail establishments in Southern California have had added, it can allow you to track people throughout the store and talk with them individually, something that has proven to be a creepy experience for some shoppers and a source of liability for the venue. For this type of problem, store managers and mall managers need to be observant and demand that security keep logs of their use of directed sound in the building. That way they can review any incidents and detect systems that are not their own in the building.

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