Jul 16 2014
You know things are getting a bit out of hand when you have to patch the light bulbs in your house. But that’s exactly what the Internet of Things is going to mean in the future. Everything in the household from the refrigerator to the chairs you sit in to the lights will eventually have an IP address (probably IPv6), will have functions that activate when you walk into the room and will communicate that back out to a database on the Internet. And every single one of the will have vulnerabilities and problems with their software that will need to be patched. So patching your lights will only be the start of the wonders of the Internet of Things.
We already know our televisions are tracking our viewing habits. Not just what we watch from the cable boxes, but what shows we stream, what content we download and they’re enumerating all the shares on our networks to find what’s there as well. For each new device we add to the home network, we’re also adding a new way for our networks to be compromised, to allow an outsider into our digital home. How many home users are going to be able to set up a network that cuts these digital devices off from what’s important on the network? How many security conscious individuals are going to bother?
It’s interesting to watch the ‘what we can do’ run amok with little or no regard for ‘what we should do’. Ever since the first computers were built we’ve been fighting this battle. But as it moves from the corporate environment as the battlefront to the home environment, it’ll be interesting to see how the average citizen reacts. Will we start seeing pressure for companies to create stable, secure products or will we simply continue to see a race to be first to market, with the mentality that “we’ll fix it later”?