Before you put on your smart watch, would you like to know how safe it is from hackers? In 2018, the US defence agency issued a warning that weak security on IoT devices poses the most significant threat to its national security. Moreover, there are valid reason for concerns as well.
In 2016, hackers overtook control of exposed cameras among other devices to cause one of the largest internet outages. Furthermore, the threat will likely become more prominent in the future. Over 20 billion IoT devices will make their way into the hands of consumers by 2020.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an electronics safety organization has come with a set of standards to maintain security for IoT devices. The new standards will categorize medals into Gold, Bronze, Diamond, among others.
The medals promise to place stringent standards in place to ensure compliance. The new labels will be awarded on the basis of software upgrades, system management, data & cryptography, protocol security, and customer identifiable data, along with documentation.
A Move towards Uniformity
Security experts agree that a unified solution for all IoT devices is unlikely. However, most of them agree on a unified labelling system, similar to what UL promises to roll out. According to Andrew Jamieson, UL’s director, the move from analog to digital is directly causing a concern for the safety of products. And, it is high time for us to start thinking about that.
However, it may be a while before the rules are place to ensure strict standards for IoT devices. At the moment, the low-cost commercialisation of IoT devices is rampant. This has resulted in major adoption of the smartphone and watch technology worldwide. However, UL is working with manufacturers of smart devices to introduce them to the potential risks and gains of security.