IOT Security

Some IOT security trends

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CES 2017

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an annual gathering organized by the Consumer Technology Association.  Held in Las Vegas, the event typically hosts presentations of new products and technologies. The 2017 event is going on right now, and concerning IoT there has been a focus on security.

Recent botnet-attacks have shown that it can be quite dangerous to have a number of devices connected to your WiFi without any form of security. Being hacked by your refrigerator is not the way you want your data to be leaked. To prevent this, your Internet router will have to become more intelligent and catch up with IoT. It became clear at CES that a number of companies are already developing such devices, so it might be a good idea to invest in one of these devices in the coming year to secure your network. Two devices are worth going into here.

 

Norton Core

Everyone will be familiar with the Norton name in some degree due to their history in antivirus software, but now they’re bringing a piece of hardware to the market to increase your security. They’re marketing it under the name Core, which is a WiFi-router in an orb shape. It has typical connections (4x Ethernet, 2x USB) and the possibility to give priority to certain network traffic such as online gaming or video streaming. It’s a dual-band device which supports 802.11ac and is powered by a 1,7 GHz processor. It should support speeds up to 2,5 Gbps.

The real strength of the device is that it will detect suspicious activity on your network and warn you about this. You can also place your IoT-devices on a separate section of your network, so that they will still be reachable but they will have a much harder time infecting the rest of your network such as your pc.

 

Bitdefender Box 2

This router developed by antivirus company Bitdefender has roughly the same functionality as the Norton Core. The design is more classic than the Core, and should become available in Europe soon. Bitdefender promises you protection against malware, whether it’s for a pc or for an IoT-device.

Where it goes one step further than the Core is the way it handles security on your network: your internet traffic will be checked and the Box learns over time what is considered to be normal traffic. By doing this it can spot much faster when an anomalies appear and take appropriate action.

 

Antwerp testing ground for IoT

Another interesting announcement in the news this week was that Antwerp will work together with nanotechnology company Imec to transform the city into a connected environment.

Imec is a Belgian enterprise held in high regard as a world leader when it comes to chips and nanotechnology. They will be responsible for building the smart network that will be implemented in Antwerp. Over the next five years Flanders will invest around 20 million euro to start up the Living Lab they intend to create. After that other cities in Belgium and Europe can learn from the experiment.

Hundreds of sensors will be placed in parking spots, garbage cans, water pipes and many others to connect them to the Internet. This will allow for example to detect when garbage collection is due, or when there is a problem with the water quality. Sensors placed in Bpost vans will be responsible for measuring air quality. The data that will be collected this way will be made available for developers, so that people can create their own applications using the new data.

 

Conclusion

IoT-devices continue to evolve and appear on the market. The initiative in Antwerp makes it clear that more exciting development will happen in the future, and that cities and households will become more connected than ever. This underlines the importance of security when it concerns personal data, which companies such as Norton and Bitdefender are trying to tackle.

 

/ND