Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things

Chris Biedermann
Emitel, Ltd.

Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things

The purpose of this paper is to utilize a recent cyber-attack to highlight the current state of readiness of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies with regard to security vulnerabilities and to highlight what the author believes are fundamental changes that will need to take place within these industries and technologies to mitigate overall cybersecurity risk. The approach to this problem in the paper is to analyze and interpret findings from a myriad of existing published security studies and commentary. The conclusions of this analysis are the following key points: (1) with the world becoming more and more interconnected through web enabled devices (IoT devices), new forms of security threats have been developed; (2) at present there is a high level of vulnerability with regard to these devices; (3) there are existing technologies that can be implemented today to mitigate many of these risks; (4) however due to the fragmented and heterogeneous nature of the IoT devices, implementation of even basic levels of security is more challenging than in the case of traditional Internet connected devices (e.g. personal computers); (5) the industry needs to face and address three key fundamental issues that will in turn help to mitigate the unique security threats posed by IoT devices namely: drive for open standards, industry cooperation and consolidation, and improvement of consumer awareness.