Dronejacking... it's now a 'thing', officially. Perhaps the IoT has even more unexpected challenges ahead. Image Source: yuneec.com

It turns out The Internet of Things (IoT) is a lot more complicated to program, engineer, architect, integrate, manage, orchestrate and secure after all. Okay okay, yes we all knew that already by now… so as we start to fight the fires, where are the next areas to look out for?

Two way street

We often think of IoT sensors and locations as ‘dumb endpoints’ where little else happens apart from the transmission of recorded data. This is still largely true i.e. we rarely talk about ‘actual computing’ in the form of analytics or processing happening on the devices themselves, but there is wider context to consider here.

As pointed out by Dr Robin Bloor of Inside Analysis, while IoT devices don’t often ‘compute’ in their own right… IoT sensor communications are most commonly bi-directional.

“The scale of data generation points has no precedent and, in this new world, security, privacy and data protection need to go out to the edge. With the need for rapid analytics never greater, companies try to seize opportunities in tighter time windows,” comments Bloor.

Why data flow matters

Bloor points to discussions with Reiner Kappenberger of HPE and the implications of Apache NiFi and why it matters to IoT. NiFi is data-flow software that originates from the US National Security Agency (NSA), which open sourced its Niagrafiles project which was the foundation for what NiFi has become.

Data flow, as a piece of technology, will allow us to take a more intelligent approach to looking at what ‘state’ data is in i.e. is it at rest, is it at motion or is it in use… and could that data be in the process of being intercommunicated between two sensors before it comes back to the humans who seek to gain insight from it?

Take the above info to heart and expect to hear about ‘unidirectional streaming mechanisms’ in the months ahead.

Dronejacking

Oh and yes, we did promise you dronejacking, it is now ‘a thing’.

With drones becoming increasingly popular as both a hobby and a business, it’s only logical that they will become more ubiquitous, more connected, more a part of the IoT and more of a data flow (this really is data in motion and in flight) security risk.

According to VPN and web security specialist firm NordVPN, “Unfortunately, there has been some evidence that it is possible to hack drones and take control of them. Amazon and UPS have both announced that they plan to deliver their packages to consumer via drones. A hacker could possibly take control of the drone and thereby intercept the package meant for the consumer. Beyond that, many law enforcement agencies are using drones for surveillance. It’s predicted that surveillance drones might be intercepted to disarm the video and audio feeds.”

It is perhaps unsurprising to see and hear this threat being tabled by this firm i.e. NordVPN helps anonymize browsing the Internet with its  security protocols and no logs policy.

“It is also highly recommended to use secure privacy tools, such as VPNs, which help hide the user’s true location (IP address) and encrypt all the information that is being transferred through the Internet. Such a user becomes impossible to track,” comments the firm, in its 2017 year ahead in tech analysis.

From data flow analysis to VPNs to dronejacking and the unidirectional streaming mechanisms that we will now need to manage and orchestrate the IoT’s data, there is still much work to do.

For even more Internet of Things predictions read Internet of Business Seven predictions for the Internet of Things in 2017 here.

 

 


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I am a technology journalist with over two decades of press experience. Primarily I work as a news analysis writer dedicated to a software application development ‘beat’; but, in a fluid media world, I am also an analyst, technology evangelist and content consultant. As the previously narrow discipline of programming now extends across a wider transept of the enterprise IT landscape, my own editorial purview has also broadened. I have spent much of the last ten years also focusing on open source, data analytics and intelligence, cloud computing, mobile devices and data management. I have an extensive background in communications starting in print media, newspapers and also television. If anything, this gives me enough man-hours of cynical world-weary experience to separate the spin from the substance, even when the products are shiny and new.