The internet of things needs better-made things

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Welcome to the internet of things, the latest new thing from the tech industry. IoT evangelists talk it up in breathless terms – 20 to 50 billion devices (each with its own MAC address) connected to the internet etc. Yea, verily toaster shall speak unto toaster and fridges shall tell Tesco when to deliver milk, and Amazon will know what you want before you can articulate the thought yourself. And so on, ad nauseam.
The implication is that your phone’s communication with the socket in your home – communication that contains the device’s unique address – is completely insecure. “So,” warns Mr Garrett, “if anybody knows the MAC address of one of your sockets, they can control it from anywhere in the world. You can’t set a password to stop them and a normal home router configuration won’t block this. You need to explicitly firewall off the server… in order to protect yourself. Again, this is completely unrealistic to expect for a home user, and if you do this then you’ll also entirely lose the ability to control the device from outside your home.”
There are thousands of insecure IoT products already out there.
If our networked future is built on such dodgy foundations, current levels of chronic online insecurity will come to look like a golden age. The looming dystopia can be avoided, but only by concerted action by governments, major companies and technical standards bodies.
Create an IoT strategy and explore its impact on the enterprise software landscape. Form new business models and opportunities currently beyond imagining.

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