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The Internet of Things needs a security model to protect user data

IoT security becomes a hot topic at The INQUIRER and Intel's roundtable event
Thu May 22 2014, 13:08
Internet of Things street furniture gathering data

THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT) needs its own security model to protect user data and enable innovation, it was argued at The INQUIRER's Internet of Things roundtable event in London on Wednesday.

The INQUIRER and Intel welcomed a number of professionals from organisations including Bosch, the London School of Economics and the West Middlesex Hospital to the roundtable at London's Groucho Club on Wednesday, where the security concerns surrounding the Internet of Things quickly became a hot area for discussion, following our debate on the topic earlier this year.

Intel said that the Internet of Things, which is expected to see 26 billion connected devices by 2020, needs its own security model in order to fully protect user data, and to allow that data to be shared in a secure, personalised way.

Intel head of business marketing Stuart Dommett said, "When we look at consumers, they don't really care about privacy and security. They think they do, but they don't really understand it. They are really offended when you lose their data, but at the end of the day when we look at the cloud - and this is something where BYOD is coming from - you have to start to trust the the entry points, and that means a whole new security model for this to work.

"You're going to have to secure the device or the sensor, you need to secure the data, and you're going to have to secure that across an open network - it really is a massive, massive change."

Dommett added that the Internet of Things revolution and the debate surrounding personal data will have a huge impact going forward, and said that businesses need to pay attention.

"The access to personal data is probably one of the biggest changes we've got going forward - and it can destroy your company. It's very important [that] we understand what that security model is going to look like, because we can't afford to run private networks," he said.

Dr Will Venters from the London School of Economics argued that concerns around the security of data could restrict the Internet of Things. "The security argument is always put forward, but there's a value argument that goes alongside that - maybe you want data in your sensors, but you don't want the risk of the data on the sensor. It's easy to say the solution to all IT concerns is to lock it down to a single computer."

Karen Lomas, director of the Internet of Things, smart city and buildings at Intel, didn't agree that it was about "locking" down data, and said it's more about deciding who gets access to that data, and how it can be shared securely and in a personalised way.

"Intel doesn't believe it's about locking it down so it's not accessible - it's about deciding, and who gets to decide is really interesting," She said. "If you're given access to the data do you need it the data, does the GP need the data personalised? Yes. Does the drug company? Probably not.

"What we believe you need is systems, or an architecture, that allows that to be protected and shared in a personalised way. That's how you manage that data - you have to have it secure, and I think that's the key."

To read more from our IoT roundtable, you can check out Wednesday's live blog of the event. µ

 

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