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In the last few years, there have been a number of news stories on the Internet of Things and its growing significance. Recently, experts have begun to realize that the IoT has a direct affect on cybersecurity. The main question is whether or not the IoT is improving cybersecurity or hindering its progress. Before one can decide, there must be an understanding of the IoT and the devices that are a part of it.
What is the Internet of Things?
In the publication “Cybersecurity in Our Digital Lives,” the National Cybersecurity Institute defines the Internet of Things as “the ad hoc network created by the billions of ‘smart’ devices that communicate with one another for a myriad of purposes.” In other words, the IoT is an Internet connection between household appliances and other items that have been modified to have more technological capabilities. It can allow you to control the lights and themostat in your home remotely from a mobile device or a computer. The interconnectivity of these devices makes daily life a little less complicated, but it also opens up the possibility for increased cyberattacks.
Examples of emerging IoT devices
Some of the most recent breakthroughs in IoT technology include refrigerators that send messages to your mobile device when food is expired or the temperature is at the incorrect setting, washing machines that allow you to start and stop loads from your phone and applications that allow you to control the electricity and HVAC settings in your home remotely. There is also a way for homeowners to manage the security of their houses through mobile apps and computer programs. All of these devices, and many more, are connected through Wi-Fi or other networks and were created to make things less complicated.
How these devices could build a better future for cybersecurity
Imagine if you lost your phone or your computer was hacked. Now, the bad actor has access to every other device that is connected to your personal IoT network. In this scenario, he or she could use your phone to unlock your home, allowing for further invasion and theft. The hacker could also wreak havoc on your home by dallying with your appliances or messing with your personal settings. No one wants this scenario to become a reality, and as a result, the Internet of Things has inspired the cybersecurity field to develop stronger levels of protection. Business Insider reported that when security researchers hacked into a moving car that was connected to the IoT, it gained a significant amount of media attention, thereby, forcing researchers to make the IoT a safer place.
If the IoT inspires developers to take cybersecurity for connected devices more seriously, the entire field could benefit greatly. The next technology professionals of the future will be asked to make cybersecurity a priority, making the digital world a little safer for all.