News that Proves Trust is the Point
IoT is making a lot of waves — with promises of more and more connected devices coming out over the next 10 years. With the number of stories circulating about breaches and hacks, you'd think that IoT stood for the Insecurity of Things.
Every month, we'll offer a recap of some the stories that caught our attention. These stories put a spotlight on the vulnerabilities and hopefully, make consumers and manufacturers aware that for IoT devices to really take off, trust will need to be built in.
A new service from IoT search engine Shodan allows users to take a peek into the lives of anyone with a vulnerable webcam. They've even made some of the images that they've grabbed public, including “marijuana plantations, back rooms of banks, children, kitchens, living rooms, garages, front gardens, back gardens, ski slopes, swimming pools, colleges and schools, laboratories, and cash register cameras in retail stores.”
The Ring doorbell seems like a great security device. If anyone approaches your home, you're notified. CCTV lets you see and talk to your visitors — even if you're not home. It also is so easy to set up that anyone with a screwdriver can steal it and your Wi-Fi password.
The Google Nest ran into some problems when a software bug left its customers in the cold. The dead of winter is not when you want your IoT thermostat to stop working. While this wasn't a security related device, it diminishes trust and puts a spotlight on whether a company is capable of protecting consumers from every angle — including security.
The Xfinity home security system promises to provide peace of mind by alerting customers if anyone is trying to break into their homes. A smart thief can use “radio jamming equipment to block the signals that pass from a door, window, or motion sensor to the home's baseband hub.” The result, the system is effectively disconnected. When the sensors stop communicating with the hub, it takes that as a signal that all is well. The homeowner still thinks the alarm is armed, giving bad guys plenty of time for their nefarious deeds.
At the FTC PrivacyCon Conference, researchers Sarthak Grover and Roya Ensafi from Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) presented on how much information IoT devices in the home are leaking. From the mundane of zip codes to worrying details about whether the homeowner is in the house or away are being given away as information is being sent to the cloud.
This is just a sampling of the stories to hit in January. As these stories come out, they're being shared on social media, raising awareness among consumers. The more the stories spread, the more companies will be forced to be transparent about security or risk losing their customers.
Contact TrustPoint Innovation today to learn how security and trust does not have to be sacrificed in the name of security.