In IoT We Trust. NOT.


Whatever the average person thinks the Internet of Things (IoT) actually is, there seem to be two points on which they agree—they don't trust it, but they do believe in the value it could deliver.

At least, that's the consensus of 5,200 people surveyed globally by the Mobile Ecosystem Forum. The organization's report, “The Impact of Trust on IoT,” showed that privacy, or the lack of it, concerns 70 percent of U.S. respondents about IoT. At the same time, 90 percent of respondents believe that the world of connected devices will deliver the value it promises.

Most people probably don't know much about the actual state of security in IoT devices. Even for industry insiders, it is a new and emerging topic, one of the primary reasons the Smart Card Alliance has recently launched the Internet of Things Security Council.

But what people do understand all too well is that the internet is not a very safe place for anyone or anything. One constant reminder is everyone’s inbox. Tempting phishing emails still manage to get through filters, delivering everyone a daily dose of unhealthy click-bait. Then there is the unending series of data breach headlines. So many in fact, security experts warn that “breach fatigue” may even be desensitizing people to the issues of internet security.

And IoT is starting to garner its own frightening headlines. Just a year ago, on the eve of Black Hat 2015, Wired’s Andy Greenberg published the sensational article, “Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It.”

This spring, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly issued a warning on the dangers posed by hackers or even terrorists taking control of a motor vehicle remotely. The agencies cited the recent success of security researchers to remotely initiate several actions on a moving car, such as shutting the engine down, disabling the brakes, and affecting the steering.

Whatever the sources of their concerns, consumers get it, at least according to the survey. Privacy and security are critical issues and trust has to be proven.

It is a story experts in smart card technology know well, and have had to address in industry after industry. From the now ubiquitous SIM cards in mobile devices that enable private, secure communications to the chip technology required by the global electronic passport standards to EMV chip cards for payments, the global suppliers of smart card technology have an established record of accomplishment in securing devices worldwide for more than two decades.

The answers to securing IoT will likely have their roots from those providers of these same technologies.

If you're looking for a forum where all the stakeholders can work together to solve the privacy and security problems facing IoT, and to create an effective ecosystem across all of the stakeholders, check out the Smart Card Alliance’s new Internet of Things Security Council.