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IoT security neglected by manufacturers

People all over the world could soon be held to ransom over the use of everyday IoT items, from smart locks on front doors to automated cars, warns Dr Kevin Curran, Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and professor of cybersecurity and intelligent systems.

Professor Kevin Curran
Professor Kevin Curran – Professor of Cyber Security. (Photo: Nigel McDowell/Ulster University)

He points out that if organisations don’t act quickly to improve IoT security, the public will start to associate IoT devices with hackers, which could stop the technology from developing to its full potential.

He said: “The problems that governments will have to deal with in the future are ever increasing, one in particular being when smart home devices are held hostage by hackers and owners must pay a fee to access their lights and other IoT appliances. We will also see ransomware appearing on smart cars, trucks, trains and planes. It is only a matter of time before we see people left on the side of the road unable to drive their vehicles until they pay a ransom.”

Curran added: “The rapid growth of the IoT market has seen an explosion in the number of IoT solutions, with the focus on the hardware to enable these solutions. As a result, there has been a lack of consistency and standards across the infrastructure that enables these solutions. In short, the focus on the rapid development of hardware has resulted in security being neglected. As the industry evolves, the need for a standard becomes more important to ensure interoperability and security for the system as a whole.”

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2018