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Privacy: What IoT needs to get fixed fast!

May 20, 2015 1:25:00 PM. By: High Tech Campus

John Matherly runs the world's only search engine that actively finds and maps all devices directly connected to the Internet, including IoT devices.

Using Shodan, it's possible to understand which IoT products are most popular, how often they get updated and whether customers are patching their systems. It’s the key to understanding how the IoT market is evolving using real data. We had a brief encounter with John Matherly.

There are 2 main areas I believe people haven't really grasped about the Internet of Things.

Security/ Privacy
I believe the decision making around IoT is mainly driven by the capabilities/ features. There seems to be a complete disregard for the security/ privacy implications that IoT brings with it.

For instance, what is the privacy policy on the data that a light bulb is collecting? That information can tell a company when you're home, which rooms you spend most time in etc. And how are IoT devices affecting the security of your business? We're already seeing large businesses being compromised because they didn't secure their smart air conditioning/ heating systems. All this will become a bigger issue as IoT gets ubiquitous.

Real-Time Analytics
A lot of questions today are answered using surveys or other sample-based methods. It's very difficult to know exactly how many users are using a product, which configurations they prefer, how often they updated etc. If you're the vendor you might know some of these things, but obtaining that information about a competitor is very difficult.

As more IoT devices get connected to the Internet it's possible to answer questions using empirical data. Already today, it's possible to get real measurements of how much solar/ wind power is generated in various countries by talking to Internet-connected energy devices.

I hope people will have a better understanding of what is currently connected to the Internet, how the latest network security technology is creating new opportunities and that a lot of challenges in IoT still need to be solved.

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