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Smart Toasters and Data Security

Technological advancements have always had their Achilles’ heel: except maybe in cases like the wheel and the toaster. Besides that, progress has rarely been void of people to abuse the power it permits. Certainly in recent years, with the growth of internet technologies, information and identity theft has become the Mr. Hyde of development.

Over the last decade, 176 major cyber security breaches have occurred with 30,000+ records stolen. These security breaches have ranged in severity, from names and phone numbers being stolen to social security and credit card details. One of the most recent cases of cyber theft was discovered in February of 2015: 80 million records were reported to be stolen from the Anthem Inc. database. This information included names, addresses, account details, and even social security numbers.

This does not mean that all technology, except wheels and toasters, should be thrown away. However, there ought to be some thought put into how device-to-device technology should be pursued. The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to be an incredibly useful interconnection of appliances, but this has also resulted in lower barriers of security and an influx of connection points. Networking capabilities have advanced to connect all sorts of devices into a single conversation which provides for improved physical safety of the house, but a plausible decrease in cyber security. This is a good reminder that companies developing for the IoT must take special precautions to secure valuable information, and not to be flippant with the data that we share.

See the full infographic at Computer Science Zone.

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