Data Privacy in IOT – Challenges & Opportunities

Data Privacy in IOT : Several connected devices have been growing at a phenomenal phase. IOT has enriched our lives with its ability to connect devices to cloud, mobile application, business process, and prove how impactful and productive can a simple data be when ingested, processed, and analyzed.

In IOT sensors are equipped to collect data in Realtime, process this data, and send this data to cloud or other remote storage for further processing and driving actions.

With this benefit comes the challenge of securing the trillions and trillions of data collected from the IOT devices.

Data privacy is one of the biggest concern for anyone connecting to the internet. We all know how personal data from mobile phone or social network, which was meant to be shared with select friends and family when it becomes vulnerable gets used and shared with people unknown to us. Users increasingly worry from data theft and data misuse and feel the obligation to keep the data private.

With IOT and the amount of data it handles privacy and security becomes even more significant concerns for the owners of these devices

Data and privacy threats

With the number of connected devices growing, and their ability to collect trillions and trillions of data, the necessity to protect this massive amount of data becomes a key factor. Some of these data collected by the sensors in the IOT network are sensitive data. These are personal information, health information, and other data when in the wrong hand, can be dangerous.

IOT data from smart home, connected cars, fitness trackers, and all collected by the IOT devices, send to the cloud for accessibility from anywhere, data retrieved or shared through mobile phone. What this also provides is the entry point for hackers to mine this data and use it to harm the individual or the harm the community.

There have been several instances in the last few years, where the loopholes in IOT security has caused more harm. Instances, like hacking the power grid, or snooping into the security camera or publishing personal data from IOT devices, create a public scare.

The threats from IOT can cause several issues.

  • IOT security: The data being collected by the IOT devices coming under the attack from hackers with malicious intent
  • Data theft: The data collected from users from the IOT devices being shared for purposes not agreed by the users
  • Data manipulation: Misrepresenting the data collected or changing the data

These issues lead consumers to have trust issues with IOT devices. Despite the potential of these devices, consumers remain wary about the way their data is being used.

Preventing the Vulnerabilities

We know the security threats from IOT can be dangerous. Since there are several key building blocks in IOT, each of these blocks provide a good target for attack in the IOT system. Once in the IOT system, the data can be abused in any number of ways.

The focus of IOT Manufacturers needs to shift from data collection to data protection. Building security inherent to the system can help to avert the threats — things like data encryption and strong authentication, securing the devices at the hardware level. Similarly, robust security protocols should be developed for the IOT, and it should be standardized. This process helps to build a stronger and stronger fence against the attacks.

Role of IOT Edge

The real potential of IOT can be realized by taking real steps in designing IOT systems with security and privacy as the foundation. IOT Edge systems are playing a crucial role to ensure IOT solutions are secure from data privacy hacks. Inclusion of IOT Edge into the design is significant for building a security firewall that can ensure data stays private and totally in control of the user.


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