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Why Security Must Become Part of the IoT Design Process

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For all the talk about how the Internet of Things is the wave of the future, the fact is that the future is here. The IoT is now a part of our everyday lives, and is only continuing to grow and advance.

The simple fact that there are so many connected devices now — the average home has about seven connected devices operating each day, while the most connected families have 15 or more devices — has made the IoT an attractive target for hackers. No longer do we only have to worry about computers, tablets, and mobile phones, but we also need to be concerned about the security of televisions, refrigerators, smart hubs, and more.

Hackers are not only tapping into these devices to steal personal and financial information, but they are also installing malware that effectively turns IoT devices into bots to be used in large-scale attacks on larger networks. We’ve already seen such attacks take place; in October 2016, DYN was affected by an IoT-enabled DDoS attacks, one of the largest attacks so far.

Investigators determined that the attack on DYN, which took down a number of major websites and servers for several hours, stemmed from internet-connected cameras, such as those used in home security. This discovery highlighted an important issue in IoT security: It cannot be left entirely to consumers, and device manufacturers must address security issues from the very start of the design process.

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