IoT: User Privacy and Solutions

With Internet of thing (IoT) on the move more and more devices are getting connected each day. This technology will ease up the life to a level we never even dreamed about. Its forecasts are positive and so are business opportunities associated with it, that's why everybody in the market is after this technology.

We don't know exactly how many devices will be connected together by 2020 but a rough estimate says it will be over 20 billion. With the advent of IPv6 we will have zillions of IP addresses which means every single particle on this earth can have an IP address. This innovation in computer networking paved the way to roll out IoT, which is a gigantic network of billions of devices on earth.

In the world of IoT everyone will be after data. The data which a network of a vast number of interconnected sensors will generate, will be used by the manufacturer's to provide services, solutions and products to their consumers. IoT is expected to attract a market of trillions of dollars or may be more than that.

This is a technology made upon gathering information about humans. So the first question that ultimately comes in every consumer mind is whether my privacy is intact in this system or not? Well in IoT privacy is redefined. It no longer means that nobody is allowed to gather your personal information. In IoT privacy means that your personal information will remain in the hands of your trusted ally only. As long as it's in their hands, your privacy will remain intact.

Everyone of us owns his privacy and nobody willing to share this with anyone else. Getting monitored via your devices by your service provider may not be a big concern, but leakage of such data to any illegitimate party is the biggest concern in the mind of consumers. Privacy and security should not be an afterthought in IoT in order to be reach out and accepted by the masses.

In our opinion, privacy and security of data will be one of the biggest challenges in IoT. Take an example of a smart home, for example, can somebody guarantee that the home data that devices installed there will generate will be handled by the right people, and for the right purposes? The answer to this is yet to be given by so many parties monitoring that house. We can extend this question to smart buildings, smart schools, smart cities and so on.

In IoT there will be lots of companies that will know lot about you without even realizing you that you are being monitored by so many folks round the clock . A smart phone nowadays is not a phone anymore, it's a multipurpose computer that stays and go wherever you go, collects and transmits every of your data like, your banking information, your shopping habits, your weekly schedule, your health status and much more. All this data will be utilized by companies who provide services related to banking, shopping and health care. A smart phone represents just a single entity that supplies your data to cloud of companies monitoring you. In IoT there will be many such devices associated with a single person.

But we should never fear great new innovations, not Internet of Things. See if the ancient people gave up using fire because of its negative effects like it burns, kills, turns everything into an ash, we wouldn't be befitted today by its positive effects. Today we know fire is best servant and worse master that's why we use it with full safety to enjoy its benefits. This same principle should be applied to every new innovations including IoT.

IoT no doubt presents complex security challenges in data privacy and safety. As I said earlier as long as our data is within the hands of legitimate authorities, we are safe else not. It's a simple binary scenario not very complex. Traditionally cyber security experts say that as we make a device secure, we make it less usable. And to secure the things we have to think with evil mind i.e. from the perspective of hackers. Because from these hackers and bad guys we have to save our privacy and to keep them away best solution is start thinking their way, to device ideas for safety.

With so many entry points in IoT infrastructure, it will be a dreamland for hackers. As the incentives for breaking into this world are far from imagination. Just think how it would be if your perfect IoT world got hacked when you don't even know about it. Just imagine what you can gain with that level of control and information access if you would be a hacker, that's why hackers also classify it as cliff top. On getting successful hackers may get access to your whole home security system, or got an access to your car locking system. These are just a few samples.

This can be taken as an exciting time for innovation in the field of "security of privacy" in IoT. As in IoT we have to secure devices that don't support firewalls, don't have encryption capabilities built into them, embedded devices that don't have operating systems running over them.

The two corner stone's of security in IoT will be Authentication and Encryption. Authentication is a onetime process between the client and its server before actual communication starts. Authentication enables both client and its server to validate each other before starting transmission. Encryption is an ongoing process that remains there until the whole data is transmitted. There are many devices in IoT which are unable to perform encryption.

One of new product introduced to implement encryption in IoT is BitBox ( http://www.bitcircle.com/). It is designed to connect and collect data from all your Iot devices. Each piece of data will be individually encrypted before transmitting to a third party cloud. Any eavesdropper getting your data has to decrypt each piece of data. This is just one example of implementing encryption in IoT devices.

There is a well known saying in cyber world that there is no such thing as security, there are just levels of insecurity. We can't shut down all current and future loopholes in IoT. But to minimize risk associated with it, we see it as a never ending job. As Bad guys will never refrain from finding vulnerabilities and getting inside this technology. That's why privacy and security of user data will remain a main concern. Some say it will be a very complex social issue.

Tags: IoT   Privacy  

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