More Connection, More Vulnerability
You may have seen the term “internet of things” showing up in various blogs or news articles and maybe, like many of us, you’re unsure what the term means. As the areas of lives that are connected to the internet increases, vulnerability increases as well. Below we offer helpful information on the “IoT.”
What Is The Internet of Things?
An article from Wired offers a helpful description – “In the broadest sense, the term IoT (or, Internet of Things) encompasses everything connected to the internet, but it is increasingly being used to define objects that ‘talk’ to each other.” So, when you hear about devices with the word “smart” in front of it, it means that these devices are connected via WiFi and cloud technologies that allow for new degrees of intuitiveness, capability, and convenience for users (e.g. smart cars, smart refrigerators, smart homes, smart luggage, etc.).
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Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Implications
Increased connectivity is intended to make our lives easier, and in many ways it certainly does. However, for these devices to function the way they are intended, users must create accounts filled out with sensitive information. As connectivity spreads, it creates more entry points for thieves. Not only is our information more vulnerable, but the ability of malevolent actors to surveil our daily lives is also a concern for IoT.
Lawmakers and experts will have to figure out how to effectively regulate the lines between connectivity, security, data management, and consumer protection. The good news is that recently city leaders in Virginia Beach came together to address the pressing issue of data security in our region. Proactive efforts to meet this evolving issue head-on is a welcome development.
In the meantime, before policies and new standards of practice are in place, points of vulnerability are many and potentially unknown.
Our firm’s attention to cybersecurity and data privacy for individuals and small businesses is informed by the reality of these trends. Password management, two-factor authentication, virtual private networks (VPNs), and WiFi security all play a role in helping to secure your information. Increased connectivity means increased attention and awareness, and a greater need to understand where your points of vulnerability are located.