IoT heading towards serious security issues, says expert

A security specialist has warned that the biggest threat to the Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t wi-fi – rather it’s poorly secured protocols and the security risks associated with it.

Speaking at the Kaspersky Lab Security Analyst Summit, Chris Rouland founder, chairman and CEO of Bastille, a company that specialises in IoT security, said that across the wireless spectrum, which is constantly being updated, poorly secured protocols can be reverse engineered so easily the modern-day equivalent of the Melissa worm, but for IoT devices, could be on the horizon.

Much of the risk surrounds the huge volume of devices and different encryption technology in use that are connected to the internet. Gartner predicts that by 2020 there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet, many of which will be vulnerable.


A bad thing

“Many of these devices are implemented or built with homegrown encryption that hasn’t been reviewed,” Rouland said. “Proprietary encryption is always a bad thing, it never works out.”

Rouland listed a number of examples of where security has been compromised, including a street lighting system in New York.

Rouland told the gathered audience: “You need to think far beyond Wi-Fi and about the amount of privacy data being sucked up ad infinitum. When you click on the user agreement, you agree to become the product.”

Related reading