Reading07: Land of Connection

The internet of things could allow the entire world to be able to communicate with itself. The idea behind the internet of things is that everything we interact with in our day to day lives could possibly connected via networks. Every aspect of a house, from the climate control to the washing machine could be connected to the internet and allow a user different options. This would for example allow the user to see when the washing machine was done, set the climate control from our phone rather then having to go to a wall unit. This would ideally allow consumers to have better, more accurate and easier to use controls of their home and the systems inside their home. I think this could definitely benefit consumers allowing better connectivity of the different devices and machines we use in our everyday life. However, I understand the negatives of the Internet of Things. When every device is connected to the internet there are more potential points of failure and security vulnerabilities. Though computers have very advanced operating systems that actively try and fight malware and prevent being hacked into, many of the chips in the internet of things do not have these protections. As such there are a large number of faults in these designs. One of the articles, the one by Andy Greenberg, he describes how two researchers were able to hack into the Jeep Cherokee he was driving from a significant distance away over Sprint’s cellular network. This hack gave the researchers control of everything from the radio to the transmission and the brake pedal. This was extremely frightening to read. If there were faults of this level in machines that could potentially kill users, such as cars or medical devices, there is a very large risk inherent in the Internet of Things. I feel like the Internet of Things is a great concept that has not been properly protected yet, however, given how quickly the Internet of Things is being implemented, it should be a much bigger aspect of development then it is at present. Programmers should attempt to create random passwords to access the devices wirelessly, as the article by Porup suggests. This would create better security for devices and not allow there to be a website that can very easily access the feeds of baby monitors or the control systems of cars. I feel like most of the liability lies with a company when a hack occurs as they should not put out products that do not have adequate protection and if they do not already they should have both dedicated departments to protecting their IoT devices and third party testing. The effects of the IoT will be hard to predict though I believe it will allow for technology to become more personalized a well as society to move move towards specialized implementations of big market technology. With the IoT not only would we be able to better represent a person in their own home, but also speed up medical care, streamlining the process and potentially allowing for constant checks to make sure equipment is working properly. I feel like the government should try and ensure companies maintain a baseline of security on their devices, as well as limit what data is allowed to be collected from IoT devices. While a part of me is very excited for the possibility of the connectivity possibility of the IoT, however I am also afraid of how it could be exploited and mishandled. I feel we have to worry about both hackers as well as the companies themselves collecting information on us.