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Homeland Security to get tougher on IoT security

Luana PASCU

September 20, 2016

Homeland Security to get tougher on IoT security

The high number of security breaches in recent years has shed light on some terrifying scenarios as to other types of devices that could just as easily be hacked and their aftermath. Since no engineer can guarantee 100% safety, consumers are increasingly concerned about these modern devices linked to their smartphones.

Connected devices, near field communication and the Internet are invading our lives, our living rooms and our cities. It is not a bad thing, since technology could automate most daily processes and make life easier. The bad part is that security has not been a priority until now, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is finally stepping up and releasing some guidelines. DHS will institute regulations for manufacturers to better design and secure devices, and will come up with a risk management policy for consumers.

Understanding that the Internet of Things is “a full-blown phenomenon,” DHS Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy Rob Silvers says all “government industries, consumers need to get serious about reasonable security being built into IoT devices […] before we”ve deployed an entire ecosystem.”

It”s extremely important to introduce security at device level, plus consider the privacy and security of entry points to avoid compromising the infrastructure. Hackers make device breaching seem way too easy, and that”s the biggest challenge manufacturers are facing. So far they have stolen and leaked personal emails from Sony and high-profile politicians and made off with millions of credit card and Social Security numbers.

Another potential problem is that they”re not always targeting people or enterprises, but the devices themselves, which takes hacking to another level. In some cases, the targeted devices could jeopardize national security. For instance, cybercriminals might hack a city”s water supply, sources of energy, medical devices or thermostats.

Security can no longer be ignored because it has also negatively influenced the credibility of the internet and the businesses breached. Now that the US federal government has officially addressed the initiation of a security policy, hopes are IoT security will gradually improve.

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