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Celebrating a Safe and Secure IoT Day

Celebrating a Safe and Secure IoT Day

April 9th is world-wide IoT Day. A day to celebrate all that is the Internet of Things. IoT Day, like the Internet of Things itself is relatively new. Most agree that Kevin Ashton, a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) executive with Proctor and Gamble first coined the term in 1999.

Ten years later, in an RFID Journal blog post titled That "Internet of Things" Thing, Kevin mused about the origins of the term and what it still means to him. 

“I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure the phrase ‘Internet of Things’ started life as the title of a presentation I made at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1999. Linking the new idea of RFID in P&G's supply chain to the then-red-hot topic of the Internet was more than just a good way to get executive attention. It summed up an important insight – one that 10 years later, after the Internet of Things has become the title of everything from an article in Scientific American to the name of a European Union conference, is still often misunderstood.

But what I meant, and still mean, is this: Today computers – and, therefore, the Internet – are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy—all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. We need to empower computers with their own means of gathering information, so they can see, hear and smell the world for themselves, in all its random glory.”

Jumping forward another 10 years, we see that his vision is real. Sensor technology has evolved to connect people and things in ways never-before imagined. In the smart grid setting, machine-to-machine communication enables smart cities to control traffic patterns, schedule waste pick-up, or conserve energy on public lighting. Industrial assets are remotely monitored and managed, maintaining uptime while saving service costs. Medical equipment connects patients to records and procedures, speeding and improving information delivery for improved patient care and outcomes.

Making IoT Safer for Us All

Unfortunately, one critically important yet overlooked aspect of these interconnected computers, people, and things has been security – security of the devices themselves, the networks on which they operate, and the communications that they share. The lack of security makes the IoT ecosystem and everything within it vulnerable to attack. Recent Ponemon research reveals that only 43% of companies involved with the use of IoT connected devices take comprehensive steps to protect their organizations’ high-value data and operational assets. With the expected surge of connected devices on track to hit 75.44 billion by 2025, that puts a lot of devices in danger. 

Technology criminals are taking note of the lack of security. IoT hacks are on the rise according to global cybersecurity company Kaspersky who is monitoring their honeypots – networks of virtual copies of various internet connected devices and applications. The company notes a seven-fold increase in attacks on smart devices from the first half of 2018 to 2019. 

GlobalSign believes the “things” of the Internet need safeguarding. Just as people, who have unique and individual identities that can be authenticated, we provision identities to things – chips, devices, gateways, networks – so their identities can be proven, validated, and authenticated. Then, we encrypt communications to protect and maintain data integrity. GlobalSign’s IoT security solution protects the Internet of Things, stopping hackers before they compromise a system.  

On this IoT Day, we salute all those who have contributed to the existence and success of our connected world. From Kevin Ashton who coined the phrase “Internet of Things” to all those who have contributed to building the technology that makes it work every day, connecting people with things through computers. IoT Day gives us an opportunity to reaffirm our pledge to continue to make the IoT a safe place for us all. 

Get Involved

To celebrate IoT day, we’ve created a timely 14-minute webcast covering Secure Device Identity for Healthcare – register and watch here. We hope you’ll check it out! And be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for more insightful IoT updates throughout the day. 

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