Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Building a future-proof IoT

October 20, 2014

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most exciting things happening in technology. The convergence of improvements in chip production and the provision of mobile internet connectivity mean that everyday devices are able to connect to the internet and communicate with each other. This provides a huge blank canvas for the creation of applications that can transform the way we live, work, play and learn.

However, to provide a secure Internet of Things we have to consider how to protect these connected devices against cyber-attack, and how to assure the confidentiality and integrity of the data travelling between these devices.

The BCS, the Chartered Institute of IT, recently hosted an event discussing the opportunities and the potential pit falls of the Internet of Things. Cisco’s own IoT guru Sarah Eccleston vividly described the world of connected things from fridges and vending machines to cows. In each case, the application of IoT technology helps to ensure a greater efficiency in operation, reducing waste and energy usage.

I spoke on the security of devices and how we have a once- in-a-generation opportunity to deploy the correct security for the Internet of Things to ensure that we are best placed to react against future threats. I also discussed the potential problem of the Internet of ‘Fake’ Things where rogue devices report fake data in order to influence systems and actions.

FieldFisher’s Antonis Patrikios tackled the IoT from a legal perspective, maintaining that it must become the ‘Internet of Trust’ and exploring the challenges presented to developers in areas like data integrity and user privacy.

The Internet of Things is ripe for invention and innovation; Dr Dean Mohammedally was on hand to showcase IoT projects developed by UCL post-graduate students. This included ‘the Captain’ device, a small computer that controls localised devices to check, for example, security or staff levels across multiple levels of a building.

The Internet of Things has the potential to vastly improve our lives, reduce waste and reduce our energy usage. However, we need to create the infrastructure that not only meets today’s data and information security concerns, but tomorrow’s too.

We have created a video that summarises the event – watch it here.

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