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Smart cities and smarter hackers

As the next industrial revolution takes centre stage, with smart devices appearing in homes and the workplace, should security matter? With the advent of sensors for car parking spaces, air quality, and room temperature, to video cameras checking on our pets or securing buildings in our offices, homes and schools, should we be concerned if anyone can access our information?

Some would suggest that having an open environment and sharing our data will lead to better outcomes. There are plenty of examples of data being used to make everyday lives easier – for example, smart cities can help to better predict our electricity needs, direct us to parking spaces and bring down CO2 emissions by helping us to avoid traffic. However, the amount of sensitive data driving these changes requires a high level of security.

To be effective, security measures must be robust from the network to the connected device itself. And this doesn’t apply to smart city technology. Connected devices around the home, from automated light controls to home heating, all run from the same network that we use for online activity from shopping to banking – and it only takes one successful attempt on a network to affect all of these different areas.

It is crucial for businesses and governments to drive awareness of IoT security, particularly as our everyday lives become increasingly connected. For example, Japan is planning a mass hackathon after passing legislation to prepare their citizens in advance of their 2020 Olympics. The company’s government plans to test the security of 200 Million IoT devices to create awareness of IoT security and its importance in the run up to the big event next year.

As businesses embrace technology to feed in meaningful and business-enhancing outcomes, we must not forget to ensure we secure these devices, and include them in any security and network reviews. If we choose to deploy a large number of devices onto our networks without properly factoring in security, we may be putting our businesses and customers at risk of becoming the next victim of a data breach.

If you have an IoT initiative to deploy or one that requires a security health check get in touch.

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