Calls for international standards to secure ‘wild west’ IoT

Industry associations and vendors need to agree international standards and best practice to avoid Internet of Things (IoT) security breaches, according to a report by Scrutinise Research and Analytics.


Wednesday 17

Calls for international standards to secure ‘wild west’ IoT

Securing the Internet of Things argues that security is at risk of being compromised due to an increasing number of devices connected to the web, and at present, no specific IoT standards and regulations.


It adds that many manufacturers are rushing IoT products to the market with little thought to security, exacerbating the problem, and leaving devices open to malware and cyber attacks.


“Given that the proliferation of connected devices goes way beyond smartphones and home entertainment to include medical equipment, connected cars and even power plants, urgent action is needed to improve the security of these devices,” Scrutinise Research and Analysis, senior analyst, Sacha Kavanagh, said.


“Doing this will help ensure we are not vulnerable to those who might seek to exploit current weaknesses. Everyone in the IoT ecosystem shares a responsibility to improve security.”


This comes after a globally coordinated ransomware cyber-attack affected organisations all over the world last week, including the NHS in the UK, which resulted in many hospitals going into lockdown.


As well as internationally agreed standards, the report suggests that:


  • * Manufacturers build security into their products at the outset, with appropriate commercial incentives
  • * Consumers be educated about the importance of security and how to keep devices and personal data safe
  • * Governments ensure that regulation encompasses the security of the evolving IoT landscape, and provide for and implement penalties for non-compliance.


It also details how more partnerships and collaborations between tech firms on both the equipment and service side are needed, as well as with manufacturers in other industries that will become part of the IoT supply chain.


“The IoT has moved beyond hype, but how it is used is still evolving. A consumer education programme will be needed to make sure that devices and data remain safe,” ILex Content Strategies director, Lucia Barbato, said.


“Likewise we anticipate governments will need to incentivise manufacturers to build security into their devices as part of any regulatory framework.”



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