Security and the internet of things

by in Technology.

The Samsung smartwatch. Getty Images/Sean Gallup

The Samsung smartwatch. Getty Images/Sean Gallup

The internet of things has evolved beyond a buzz term to one of the most-talked about sectors in technology in 2013 as tech giants debuted smart devices at the Mobile World Congress in February, and continued to launch products throughout the year including Qualcomm and Samsung’s latest debut of smartwatches in September. But as the number of devices that are connected increases, challenges arise beyond just how to manage enough bandwidth; the security around the data processing is a big concern.

“Security becomes of utmost importance” noted Carlos Dominguez of Cisco Systems during a discussion on the advances of digital technology at the Blouin Creative Leadership Summit on September 24. He said that by 2016, 92% of people on a global scale will have access to some sort of mobile technology, and there are close to 8 billion connected devices already. How do companies ensure security for all of these devices’ processes? How can the data processing be managed? These questions are the ones facing the ISPs and networks as the internet of things builds out — and build out it will. Yet security concerns are not holding back the production of the internet of things, and certain companies are preparing for such an increase in such a short amount of time — Intel, for one.

Intel launched a new chip design in early September it’s calling Quark that runs more power on a smaller frame, a chip designed specifically for the internet of things. As the company looks to broaden out of the PC market — which is slumping rapidly — it wants to make sure it doesn’t lag behind in the internet of things as it did in mobile. In the semiconductor market, U.S.-based Freescale revealed on September 23 that it has partnered with Oracle to ready processors for the internet of things market and its many protocols.

But the plethora of protocols and traffic to come from a market that has yet to flesh out for consumers presents concerns for the network operators that have to ready networks for the bandwidth consumption and the secure data processes. As Dominguez said, “technology supersedes laws and common sense in many ways”, so perhaps the solutions to how to securely manage the billions of devices that will gain internet connectivity over the next several years will only appear as the devices themselves proliferate.

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