Space Junk, Lightbulbs and Securing the Internet of Things

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On the fourth of October 1957 “Sputnik” became the first man made object to orbit the earth. After only 60 years of space exploration, the Earth’s orbits are now littered with “Space Junk”, with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) tracking over 500,000 individual pieces of debris. The situation has become so severe that the future of space exploration is now under significant threat, with agencies such as the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA calling for immediate action to be taken to address the problem. This situation is analogous to where the Internet of Things (IoT) is heading.

The IoT has the potential to significantly impact the way we live, with innovative services and solutions being proposed across a multitude of market verticals. Forecasts regarding the number of deployed IoT devices by 2020 is in the billions, with the estimated market potential being in the trillions. However, the market is under threat from poor security implementations and lack of consideration of the long-term implications of deploying such devices.

The IoT is not a new separate internet, it is part of the same internet we use every day, for everything. The IoT is essentially the internet where eventually the majority of users will be “things” rather than people. If something isn’t done now to curb the deployment of devices with substandard security then we are heading towards an IoT littered with poorly secured devices, threatening not only the IoT market but also established internet services.

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Space Junk, Lightbulbs and Securing the Internet of Things Thought Leadership Paper