The latest buzzword for the naturally increasing connectivity of todays electronic devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), postulates an always on interconnected communication future. In the U.S. today there are more IoT devices than people, more than 100 million more, in fact! With so much focus on whats right about this approach, it would be foolish to ignore what could go very, very wrong.
Applications span from those where Internet connectivity is an obvious step with an equally obvious benefit, such as a smart TV that streams content on-demand or a remote device that controls central heating, to more visionary applications, such as intelligent refrigerators or Internet-enabled pacemakers that enable hospitals to monitor outpatients without physical attendance.
By placing increasing trust in machines, especially those interacting with each other, the consequences of exploitation rise substantially. Computer viruses have for years varied in destructivity, from rendering a home desktop PC unusable to temporarily bringing down entire financial systems; but with the IoT we are handing technology the power to cause much more damage systemic and even physical.
Full report published here in Embedded Computing Design – March 2014