When it comes to privacy and security vs. cool and convenient, cool and convenient tend to win leaving privacy and security in the dust. Today, there’s a culture, and almost cult-like following, of wearable devices that can answer your phone calls, track your heart rate and number of steps, respond to text messages, find cafes near you, etc. But what does this mean for privacy and security?
In a keynote address at the IoT Security Conference in September 2015, the chief information security officer of the FBI said that IoT breaches could affect end users even more than typical enterprise data breaches. TechTarget quoted FBI CISO Arlette Hart about why IoT technology is outpacing security: “[With technology], cool trumps safe. The capabilities themselves are almost always developed without security in mind. We need to change that [for IoT].” Noting that sensitive personal information is now interconnected with devices such as health monitors, door locks, cars, baby monitors, and household appliances, Hart said that breaches of individual devices could have serious effects on consumers.
The FBI is not the only agency concerned with the information security of personal devices. In January 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a staff report on the security of consumer devices, noting that the prevalent lack of security can put end-user privacy and, in some cases, physical safety on the line. As more businesses take advantage of the business opportunities presented by these devices, and as more employees bring these devices into the workplace, consumers are not the only ones in jeopardy. In this second part of our series on IoT security, we’ll look at the business risks of personal devices and the steps that businesses can take now to protect themselves.
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