KoolSpan U: Weekly Word Wednesday – The Security Threat with the “Internet of Things”

The “Internet of Things” is a catch-all phrase that has been hot in the headlines recently. With the influx of wearables into the consumer spotlight, mostly led by Google Glass and other CES show introductions earlier this year, these new products and their corresponding systems are the beginnings of the next disruptive technology, the next smart phone perhaps.

So what exactly is the Internet of Things? Essentially, it refers to objects and devices that are NOT primarily computers connected to the internet. Google Glass, smart watches, connected cars and household items and appliances like the smart, connected Nest thermostat. Connected devices around the house (like ovens and even lights) can be turned on and off remotely, and connected cars can provide better navigational and infotainment options.

While it’s clear that increased connectivity will provide numerous benefits to consumers, there are a number of new security risks that come along with these technological advancements. For example, it may be nice to cut electricity bills by turning down your thermostat from the road, but you will be quite unhappy if your home’s thermostat is vulnerable to hacker intrusion. And while temperature control hackers are a nuisance, a hacker controlling the steering in your car from a remote location (as discussed in a previous post on hacking into car-based CAN Bus networks) is a life-threatening situation.

Since the Internet of Things encompasses so many different products, a solution to this new and complex security issue is not simple. However, equipping your new devices with embedded hardware security might just do the trick of fending off hackers, as they offer an extra line of securty. To find out more about how hardware can help protect your device, check out our TrustChip technology.