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Top 5 Cyber Security Issues Facing IoT Device Manufacturers

The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that by 2020, 212 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will have been installed globally, and the IoT market will be worth $8.9 trillion. Thus, there is a lot at stake for companies who are currently utilizing, selling, or planning on investing in IoT devices and technology, including trillions of dollars of lost revenue, as well as severe damage to their brand’s reputation if they cannot better secure their IoT devices. Here’s IPR Secure’s top 5 cybersecurity issues facing companies who sell IoT devices and services.

1. No Consensus on Implementation of IT Security on IoT Devices
According to a January 2015 research report by Wind River, entitled Searching For The Silver Bullet, there is currently no consensus among IT security experts on how to properly implement IT security on IoT devices, such as smart cars. In fact, Wind River asserts that “there is no silver bullet to effectively mitigate the effects of the lack of IT security in IoT devices”.

2. Major Privacy Concerns
Secondly due to the ubiquitous spread of commonly used, internet-connected “smart” technology devices, such as smart watches, smart wallet apps, home monitoring apps, and smart cars, many serious privacy issues arise for consumers and companies, since their personal and financial info can be hacked and used to extort money or scam them via insurance scams.

3. Potential For Unexpected Uses of Consumer Data
With major cases of cyber fraud significantly on the rise over the past two years, IoT technologies and apps, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, which allow you to purchase goods and services via your smartphone’s WIFI or Bluetooth connection at stores, makes it much easier for cyber attackers to steal or extort money from consumers. However, unlike Apple Pay’s (EMV-based) contactless mobile payment system, which allows for in-app card-not-present purchases, Samsung Pay does not allow for this and uses Visa’s Token Service to better secure mobile payments.

4. Heightened Physical Security Risks
As shown by infamous Jeep Cherokee white-hat IT security researchers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek who successfully hacked into and completely took control of the dashboard computer system of a Jeep Cherokee from 10 miles away in July 2015. Clearly IoT technology, such as smart sensors and GPS tracking systems are a serious threat to the personal lives of citizens. Moreover, IoT technology is also a major threat to the national security of nations, since many of their nuclear reactors, electrical power systems, and remote controlled military devices, such as drones are managed using internet-connected devices.

5. Legal Liability Issues
If the IT security of IoT technology, such as smart watches, mobile wallet apps, and internet-connected cars is not significantly improved soon, manufacturers of IoT devices are at high risk of facing serious civil class action lawsuits, due to privacy and physical security liability issues. Moreover, any leaked financial or personal info, bodily harm or death caused by the hacking of internet connected devices could severely damage the reputation and bottom line of IoT device manufacturers. However, it is yet to be determined whether it will be IoT device manufacturers or software vendors who will face the brunt of any future class action lawsuits related to improperly securing IoT technology.

IPR Secure’s highly secure and compliant Tier III data centers have proven 99.99% reliability, 24/7 customer tech support and flexible solutions to keep your IT systems up and running even when disaster strikes. To learn more about IPR’s robust suite of IT security and disaster recovery solutions, visit: or call us today at 877.282.4873.

Sources: New Technology, New Risks: Preparing for the IoT. Are We Creating An Insecure Internet of Things (IoT)? Security Challenges and Concerns. Vehicle Hacks and The Age of IoT: Breach Prevention is the Only Way Forward. Security In The Internet Of Things: Lessons from the Past for the Connected Future.

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