People must feel safe and secure with the Internet of Things before it can reach its full potential – and there are a lot of things that still need to be addressed, Greenwave Systems’ chief scientist and technology evangelist Jim Hunter warned today.
Speaking at Web Summit, Hunter said security is the single biggest hurdle when it comes to monetizing the Internet of Things (IoT), particularly in the wake of incidents like last month’s Mirai DDoS attacks.
Calling on his extensive experience in connected technology and his recent efforts as co-chair of the IoT Consortium committee on privacy and security, Hunter called for a fundamental consensus within the industry on security standards.
“When you’re looking at how to monetize, you should find the value in what makes people tick – consumers want to be safe, secure and have their basic needs met,” said Hunter. “From that perspective, the value is in shoring up the bottom line and the smart home has its roots in security for that very reason.”
Hunter – who took part in a panel titled “Are Smart Homes Overhyped and Risky?” at Web Summit today – went on to say that the IoT must meet basic security standards and safeguard consumer trust to continue to grow.
“Once those basics are met, people will want to create and connect,” he said. “If you look at social media, Facebook wouldn’t have been successful in the early days of the Internet if people didn’t feel safe and secure. That’s what we as an industry have to do with the IoT. There are a lot of aspects that need to improve before we can move on to next level.”
According to Hunter, while the size of the IoT is unprecedented, the concepts behind it are nothing new.
“The Internet has been about ‘things’ the whole time – be it a computer, a mobile phone or a smart device – so you have to look at how we have monetised the Internet so far and provided value to the consumer,” he continued. “The PC industry, for example, didn’t fully take off until software enabled people to be more creative, productive and better connected. The mobile industry was the same – there were a lot of walled gardens until Apple created the App Store.
“We went from millions of opportunities with the PC industry to billions of opportunities with mobile, and from complicated, large-scale applications to smaller, more digestible solutions. The Internet of Things is a continuation of that, but with trillions of devices.”