IoT - Need for Privacy and Encryption

By CIOReview | Friday, February 9, 2018
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Susan Landau, in a recent event titled Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age at New America, called attention to the need for discussion on “Security vs. Security” instead of “Security vs. Privacy”, as has been the norm while talking about the Internet of Things (IoT). In her book with the same title, she uses her legislative knowledge and historical perception together with her descriptions of cyber attack to emphasize the need to protect data.

Landau stresses the need to understand the detailed working of contemporary communications technologies to match up against the techniques nation-state attackers, organized criminals and other bad actors use to defeat security. She insists that encryption is the preferred method, instead of building front/back doors into security that others will eventually gain access to. Advocating the widespread use of the 2-factor authentication, she considers it, along with automatic security updates and ephemeral communication, as essential steps to safeguard data.

The author suggests limiting the shelf-life if the device is not updated regularly. Landau, who doubts the efficiency of blockchain technology with 2-factor authentication in alleviating security challenges, explains that despite the advantages of anonymous devices, they might not be particularly useful with security devices, making the trend unlikely to become popular among IoT devices. Laws regarding safety need to be framed generally, she reiterates, for if a system cannot be updated for security protection, it has a limited shelf-life. Landau ends her talk by reiterating the need for privacy and encryption.