Basically, IoT means products, ‘things’, can connect to other products or services or devices using wired or wireless (but mostly wireless) communication over the internet. The Internet of Things is to be feared. But it’s not what you think.
500 lbs Of Potatoes
When devices begin to connect to other devices the opportunities for mistakes and security problems also increases.
For example, future refrigerators may monitor the food inside, and tell us which ones need to be replaced, or which foods may spoil soon.
Sounds good, right? What’s the problem? Security and glitches.
Now, imagine receiving a notice on your iPhone from your fridge that you’re running low on potatoes. “Ms. Brannan (that’s how I want my fridge to refer to me), you’re running low on potatoes. Should I order 10 pounds from Whole Foods delivery service?”
Through either a glitch or someone hacking my refrigerator, I receive 500 pounds of potatoes, conveniently billed to my credit card.
See the problem?
All of this interconnected connectedness, which brings modern devices into the 21st century, also means security becomes even more important than it is today.
Here’s another scenario. I’m at the Mall and left my iPhone inside my self-driving Apple branded electric vehicle. No problem. I borrow a phone, call my husband and tell him to unlock the car remotely so I can retrieve my iPhone and drive home.
“Mr. Brannan (that’s how he prefers me to refer to him), It’s Ms. Brannan, I left my iPhone in the car. Would you please unlock it for me? Thanks.”
Unfortunately, a hacker intercepts the unlock signal sent over the internet, and steals my car by having it drive away on its own. Hey, it could happen.
Ditto for proximity door locks for cars or homes. Connecting all these devices together means many more opportunities for things to go wrong in a big way, either by bugs or hackers.
Here’s why the internet of things worries me.
Banks, stores, massive corporations, universities, and government agencies get hacked all the time even though they have large teams of experienced technology experts running their advanced systems.
Who will protect my fridge or car or door lock from being hacked? I think it’s time to add a little fear to our excitement over the internet of things.