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IoT and Its Big Security Problem

Posted on 6.16.2015

From Web-connected baby monitors to remote thermostat control, the Internet of Things (IoT) is certainly shaking up how consumers run their households and how brands earn retail dollars.

The benefit to merchants, who offer connected products, is the ocean of data at their disposal, like Amazon Dash for instance, which gives business participants the opportunity to see how much of their product is being used by end-users, how often they re-stock and other valuable data to maximize lifetime customer value. 

The problem for both retailers and consumers, however, is that of the top 50 leading Internet of Things device makers, focusing on wearable technologies and connected home products, 76 percent of these sites failed the Online Trust Alliance’s 2015 audit. Of the other sectors mentioned in the audit, news and media sites received the lowest scores with an 80 percent fail rate. It should also be noted that Dropcam received the highest rating for all IoT devices, receiving Honor Roll status. 

“The results of this audit serve as a wake-up call to Internet of Things companies who are handling highly sensitive, dynamic and personal data,” said Craig Spiezle, executive director and president of OTA. “In rushing their products to market without first addressing critical data management and privacy practices, they are putting consumers at risk and inviting regulatory oversight.”

These findings have led the OTA to launch a multi-stakeholder effort to develop an Internet of Things trust framework including security, privacy and sustainability practices. OTA recently released a discussion draft of the framework, soliciting public comments with the goal of creating a voluntary code of conduct. Details are posted at https://otalliance.org/IoT.


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