Access and Feeds

Internet of Things: IoT and Standard IT Devices Have Similar Vulnerabilities but IoT Security Defenses are Weak or Nonexistent

By Dick Weisinger

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced new guidelines for how to address cybersecurity and privacy risks that could occur as a result of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  There is concern that many current IoT devices have little or no security precautions built into them.

The report tries to take into account the following considerations of IoT devices compared to conventional IT devices.  Thes einclude:

  • IoT devices interact directly with physical environments while standard It devices like PCs do not.
  • IoT devices can be monitored, accessed and managed in ways similar or identical to how standard IT devices are accessed
  • Cybersecurity and privacy capabilities of IoT devices are often vastly different than standard devices.

James St. Pierre, deputy director of the IT Laboratory at NIST, said that “I think IoT is a little more understandable than some other technologies. With any new technology there’s some interest in ‘we’ve got to start using it. My boss wants me to start using that.’ With IoT, my sense is that people are using it fairly well, to improve efficiency, effectiveness, maintenance, the smart building applications. The real unique thing about IoT is that it’s not just sensing data, of course. It can also actuate. It can have changes in the kinetic and physical world. That brings a whole new risk profile with it.”


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