Monday, January 30, 2017

Humans are a key element of the Internet of Things

A year ago, today...

The term Internet of Things (IoT) has passed in a very short time from being used just by geeks to be used by internet users in regular conversations. Autonomous machines connected to each other making an universe isn't the argument of a novel or a science fiction film anymore. Now it become a daily reality with unstoppable growth. But we shouldn't be worry because there will always be space for humans who want to participate in the process.

Like every single Monday we go on a year ago flashback. Doing this we can take perspective of the things that happend and see how we have grown in the IoT field about cybersecurity issues. There are many cases to highlight on this issue: An alarm that could reveal our wifi passwords, a thermometer that claims to need access to our photo galery, a hospital that plublished the X-rays of the pacients by accidet, but of all of them the one that called our attention the most, was the case of a Washington family whose "baby monitor" was hacked and this was discovered because the three years old kid told the parents that a guy voice was coming from it at nights. 

An example of the risk faced by the development of IoT came from Melbourne, where The Royal Melbourne Hospital was still using the obsolete Window XP, which made the attack easier and produced a paralization in the daily activity of the hospital and  making tasks like the processing of blood, tissues and urine have to be done "by hand", showing that the human component should be maintained, even if it is a reserve option in case of emergency. 

We also highlighted a year ago, how a virus had damaged and paralyzed the computer systems of the Israel Electric Authority, this was reported by the energy minister of that country. So again, a critical aspect of IoT... machines can be autonomous and have connections to each other but, it is necessary to have a human supervising to avoid a critical failure or a security attack.

And talking about attacks, also a year ago a new and unfortunate world record was established: A DDoS attack of 500 Gbps, according to the annual report submitted by Arbor Networks.  The attack against Spamhaus was the previous record, which reached 300 Gbps, what made a quantitative leap ... this was worrying, the DDoS continue to grow and are increasingly oriented to extortion. 

After this review and comparing it with the current news, we can conclude that we improve a lot in yhe implantation of the IoT but in terms of cybersecurity there is still a long way to go in this field. 

It beyond to this field's professionals, companies and institutions to gurantee a safe enviroment that allows the maximum potential of IoT to be developed, so society can take advantage of the it many benefits, but without being so worry for the cibersecurity and having a plan B in case machines reveals against us. At that is why humans will still be a key element of the Internet of things.


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