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Information security is even more vital for the internet of things era

27/05/2014 by


The Internet of Things is the term in vogue for the technology sector, referring to internet-connected devices from fitness wristbands to connected cars. But once we’re fully connected, who is responsible for governing the flow of data between our linked-up devices?

APIs are the connectors for the IoT, allowing our devices to speak to each other. However, APIs are the dark matter of the internet – end users are not aware that they are there. But APIs are everywhere: when a fitness wristband sends your jogging time to a website – that uses an API; when you remotely unlock a car with a mobile app – that uses an API; when you remotely change the temperature in your home thermostat from your office – that uses an API. These APIs must be managed and secured.

Fitness devices, cars, and home heating all benefit from the remote-control enabled by APIs. But on a much larger scale, entire industries could benefit from this increased connectivity, and the race is on to be crowned the king of the IoT revolution. But enterprises need to take a step back and make sure history isn’t repeating itself. The internet reaches every corner of our lives, and has become our go-to tool for communication, learning and media consumption. With the IoT we need to ensure that these open API interfaces are not open to attack. We need to control data governance by managing and securing all data exchange straight off the starting block, before it’s too big to fit back in its box.

With increasing levels of personal data flying around the internet, and now between devices, security is a greater cause for concern. Aside from issues of ownership, there are problems determining who is responsible for ensuring that it arrives safely where it’s needed, without interruption.

While the UK Information Commissioner’s Office admits that its Data Protection Act from 1998 is out of touch with the technological times, its message is still loud and clear. Every organisation processing personal data is required to register with ICO and take responsibility for ensuring that the data remains private.

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