- By 2026, almost half of US households will use smart home devices.
- But the increase in connected devices gives hackers and cyber criminals more entry points.
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The Internet of Things is connecting more devices every day, and we’re headed for a world that will have 64 billion IoT devices by 2025.
This growth carries several benefits, as it will change the way people carry out everyday tasks and potentially transform the world. Having a smart home may not only free up time, but pay off in the long haul, too—smart lighting, for example, can actually reduce overall energy consumption and lower your electric bill.
After a long-awaited three years, Matter—the industry-unifying standard for smart home IoT—went live in November 2022. The new interoperability protocol connects smart home devices through a common language, making it easier for users to integrate different devices and tie them to virtual assistants, and for businesses to explore new paths to ecommerce. As Matter matures, platform simplification will also become critical to creating a positive user experience.
Focused on simplicity, interoperability, reliability, and security, Matter is an important self-led step forward in a time when consumers are demanding more integration, security, and privacy transparency.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest IoT security and privacy issues as we head toward this truly connected world.
IoT Security Issues
- Public Perception: If the IoT is ever going to truly take off, this needs to be the first problem that manufacturers address. In fact, Deloitte’s 2022 Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey found that 52% of users are worried about the security vulnerabilities of smart home devices.
- Vulnerability to Hacking: Researchers have been able to hack into real, on-the-market devices with enough time and energy, which means hackers would likely be able to replicate their efforts. For example, a team of researchers at Microsoft and the University of Michigan found a plethora of holes in the security of Samsung’s SmartThings smart home platform, and the methods were far from complex.
- Are Companies Ready?: AT&T’s Cybersecurity Insights Report surveyed more than 5,000 enterprises around the world and found that 85% of enterprises are in the process of or intend to deploy IoT devices. Yet a mere 10% of those surveyed feel confident that they could secure those devices against hackers.
- True Security: Jason Porter, AT&T’s VP of security solutions, told Insider Intelligence that securing IoT devices means more than simply securing the actual devices themselves. Companies also need to build security into software applications and network connections that link to those devices.
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IoT Privacy Issues
- Too Much Data: The sheer amount of data that IoT devices can generate is staggering. A Federal Trade Commission report entitled “Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World” found that fewer than 10,000 households can generate 150 million discrete data points every day. This creates more entry points for hackers and leaves sensitive information vulnerable.
- Unwanted Public Profile: You’ve undoubtedly agreed to terms of service at some point, but have you ever actually read through an entire document? The aforementioned FTC report found that companies could use collected data that consumers willingly offer to make employment decisions. For example, an insurance company might gather information from you about your driving habits through a connected car when calculating your insurance rate. The same could occur for health or life insurance thanks to fitness trackers.
- Eavesdropping: Manufacturers or hackers could actually use a connected device to virtually invade a person’s home. German researchers accomplished this by intercepting unencrypted data from a smart meter device to determine what television show someone was watching at that moment.
- Consumer Confidence: Each of these problems could put a dent in consumers’ desire to purchase connected products, which would prevent the IoT from fulfilling its true potential.