IoT was a hot topic for attendees at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston this week. And security was the biggest concern of IoT subjects. This was true across numerous sessions at the conference as well as down on the expo floor. Cybersecurity was an unexpected focus during the discussion at the IoT Meetup facilitated by Rich Quinnell, an editor at Design News' sister publication, EDN.
Quinnell opened up a conversation with the attendees by asking how many were presently involved in IoT projects. One hand out of a few dozen went up. He quickly ascertained that the balance of the audience was either about to begin IoT projects or were expecting they would soon be asked to deploy IoT. With that in mind, he asked about their concerns. A hand shot up from a woman saying security was her main concern: “I want to know about the security of medical information. Could it be readable or changeable?” She noted that security seems like an afterthought in IoT.
Quinnell agreed that the rush to deploy IoT has often revealed a lack of concern over security. “People have been relying on security by obscurity.” In other words, they have moved forward with IoT thinking that nobody knows or cares about their data. He characterized that as misguided. “They’re going to have to create multilayered security. That has to include device security, network security, authentication, and upgrade-ability.”
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