Securing the Internet of Things – the Command Centre is cardinal

There is much anticipation about the impending growth explosion of devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). Apparently our lives are about to be inundated with connected devices such as the Dash Button, a learning thermostat, and security cameras that stream to our smartphone. Interconnectivity will improve the functionality of many of these devices. Our alarm clock for example can perhaps do a better job with inputs from our diary and traffic conditions.

Many of these devices will also require some sort of interface so that we can interact with it’s settings. Rather than requiring users to learn the software nuances of numerous devices, it will be far more convenient for IoT devices to be channelled through a common interface. This is where the IoT Command Centre comes into play – a centralised hub for multiple IoT devices from multiple manufacturers. The Command Centre will be where multiple devices can exchange data, as well as the interface through which the user interacts with multiple devices and with data. IoT data analytics can also be co-ordinated at the Command Centre.

Before a ubiquitous IoT Command Centre can become reality, standards need to be agreed upon to enable devices from various manufacturers to interact with it. Agreed standards are needed for example, for communication protocols, encryption, device identification, data exchange protocols, etc. Ideally, IoT devices should be “plug-and-play” into the Command Centre.

Even now, at the dawn of the IoT age, security has already been identified as a serious IoT issue. One study found an average of 25 security flaws per IoT device. Researchers in France found security holes in more than 140,000 IoT devices.

The IoT Command Centre is the key component for which security is vital. Important issues include:
– The Command Centre itself needs to be securely locked down from external intrusion
– Data from IoT devices needs to be stored securely
– Secure access by the user
– Secure user inputs into the Command Centre
– The Command Centre requires a system of registering IoT devices and only accepting communication from those devices and authorised users
– Privacy considerations of shared data

The IoT Command Centre needs to be designed from the ground up with security in mind, rather than have security elements bolted-on as an after-thought. Securing the Command Centre is essential for ensuring the user confidence vital for solid IoT uptake.


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