We live in the age of IoT, where more and more of the tools we use every day are connected online, from cars and home appliances to medical equipment. However, while this technology can add convenience to our daily lives, it can also heighten risk in matters of privacy and data security.
If you lose your smartphone...
For most people, the loss of their smartphone is a nightmare scenario. But it’s not only the loss of important data and information that can cause damage. The impact may also extend to people around you, even those you’ve never met. Whoever picks up your phone might take advantage of the situation to misuse IoT services the device is registered to, or use it as a tool for cyber-attacks. Even for properly discarded IoT equipment, other parties may install malware or other malicious software before selling devices to a resale shop. Understanding the potential risks of technology is key to protecting yourself against breaches of privacy or data theft.
Protect yourself with these simple steps:
- Set a secure ID and password, never keep using default settings.
- Turn off devices when not in use and delete all data from your devices before discarding them.
Manufacturers should design devices with risk in mind
Manufactures and developers of IoT equipment and services should also help raise awareness of potential risks. Features added during the design stage can help mitigate risk, including mechanisms to ensure that a single lost device will not impact other connected devices, and enhanced security measures for connecting a device to unknown devices and networks.
How to reduce risk for connected devices
Businesses should consider the following when adopting new technology:
- Understand the potential impact of cyber-attacks and data leaks on their business operations, reputation, customers and employees.
- Commit to efforts to secure IoT.
Developers of IoT devices and services should consider the following:
- Design security for devices that may be connected to many other unknown devices for a prolonged period of time.
- Understand the cost benefits of implementing enhanced security measures during the design process.
To help companies bolster their data security, the government of Japan has released IoT Security Guidelines that address potential risks associated with connected devices. METI encourages companies to review these guidelines and do their part to minimize risk to their businesses and customers.
- IoT Security Guidelines ver. 1.0 FormulatedNews Release
- METI Journal (2017 November issue)(PDF:2,029KB)