A recent technology round-table discussion in The Guardian newspaper covered the ‘rise of the connected machines’ – the internet of things, in which billions of intelligent devices will interconnect to link to deliver greater efficiency and flexibility – and ultimately lead to smart cities. So what? I hear you say. Here’s what – the round table did not once cover how these devices and their connections will be secured, and data they handle protected from interception or disruption.
Is security really the elephant in the room when it comes to the internet of things? If so, we need to stop ignoring it and start working out way to deal with it, quickly, because it’s a massive beast. Analyst Gartner recently estimated that there will be 9.7 billion connected devices being used in smart cities alone by 2020. These devices will be connected to everything – transport systems, municipal systems, utility systems. You know, the things we rely on for clean water, heating, to get to work on time, to be able to get to the shops to buy food.
While it’s true that developments in security for smart devices are progressing – Clavister is working closely with other leaders in this area, such as Intel – security needs to be a primary consideration in building smart cities. It cannot be an afterthought, as security has mostly been on current network infrastructures. Because while the internet of things will deliver a better-connected, more efficient world, it also gives criminals a more efficient network for launching their attacks. So let’s start talking – and keep talking – about security for this fast-developing area.