IoT Concerns Surface as Trend Grows

June 26, 2014, 3:14 pm

By Jordan Manser, Technical Writer

In recent posts, we’ve talked a lot about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how the trend will be a game changing technology in the near future. The phenomenon will allow everyday devices to connect and communicate with each other and control other devices. Until recently, this trend has been pegged as an ideal vision of the future. However in recent months companies like Google have been taking serious steps to make this vision a reality. With the IoT becoming more and more real, some are beginning to question whether or not the trend will cause more harm than good.

Wired’s article, “Why Tech’s Best Minds are Very Worried About the Internet of Things”, discusses the concerns some tech experts have about the IoT, security and privacy being the most immediate. The article quotes Jerry Michalski, founder of Think Tank REX, who thinks most of the devices within the IoT will be vulnerable and prone to unintended consequences. For instance, everyday items most people wouldn’t typically consider to be vulnerable could technically pose a threat. Patrick Gilmore, CTO of Boston-based data center provider Markley Group, said in a Gigaom article on the same topic that, “[when people build printer cards that have IP addresses] they’re not thinking about stack overflow or checking to make sure that the person sending the print command is the person that should be sending that command. These devices need to be secured but are not even considered in most CIO’s security plans.”

While it is important to be concerned with these issues, it is also important to know that security and privacy risks associated with the IoT can be significantly reduced given the right wireless solution. We’re not the only ones who feel this way. Many experts out there remain hopeful and excited about the limitless possibilities that the IoT can bring. In fact, the same Wired article quotes Harvard fellow David “Doc” Searls who, “argues that we needn’t sacrifice our privacy in order to enjoy the advantages of connected devices.” With IoT, more devices are open to potential attacks and security risks, but utilizing up to date security protocols can significantly mitigate those risks. OEMs looking to embed wireless solutions into their devices should choose radios from manufacturers who have appropriate security capabilities.

Laird’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules make for excellent IoT solutions because they come equipped with integrated security specifically designed for the enterprise network, significantly mitigating risks. Not only are Laird’s Wi-Fi modules at the forefront of security, but every reliable Wi-Fi network connection can be secured with WPA2-Enterprise (IEEE 802.11i) security and authenticated using one of six popular EAP (802.1X) types. In addition, Laird’s BL600 is unique among Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) modules because it provides enhanced security via Whisper Mode, which allows proximity pairing between two Bluetooth radios to take place, and AES Encryption and Decryption.

Visit the Embedded Wireless Solutions webpage to find out if Laird’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth product offerings are the right fit for your IoT implementation.