There’s a reason today’s consumers are falling in love with connected devices. They’re smart, giving you ways to save time and live better. They make everyday tasks, like preparing dinner and exercising, way more fun. And you can’t deny it—they’re just plain cool.
But recently, at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas, the Federal Trade Commission warned that the Internet of Things could pose threats to our security. Chairwoman Edith Ramirez made such predications as “smart-home hacking” and the illicit collection of private information.
“Any device that is connected to the Internet is at risk of being hijacked,” Ramirez said. Her sentiment echoes recent consumer concerns. A study from security vendor Fortinet found that 69% of consumers worried that a connected appliance could lead to the exposure of their personal information. What’s more is that half of them agreed that the manufacturer is responsible for fixing any vulnerabilities in the device.
For its part, the FTC is taking a hands-off approach to IoT security, saying that device manufacturers need to self-regulate. But the organization is also offering a few critical tips: Build security into connected devices from the outset, use encryption, and monitor products throughout their lifecycle.
To follow up on the FTC’s advice, here are three must-haves for any original equipment manufacturer (OEM) designing a connected consumer device.
- Close your stack.
Ramirez promotes “security by design” for OEMs launching connected products. Part of that due diligence involves choosing an IoT platform vendor that heavily emphasizes security. Take, for example, the DADO IoT platform. DADO Labs develops all of its firmware in-house. Its hardware runs on a closed, customized stack that’s configured with security in mind. That means less risk for hackers getting through.
- Encrypt everything.
Don’t leave personal user information exposed. Connected devices are all about data transfer, from the consumer’s device to your data warehouse. The DADO platform uses secure encryption for all transactions to and from the cloud. In addition, DADO cloud services are hosted on Microsoft Azure, so they meet high industry standards for data security.
- Be there to pair.
This is a safety issue as much as it is a security concern. Users should actually be there in person in order to turn your product on or enable its features. For all devices built on the DADO platform, a user needs to be physically present to activate the pairing mode and engage the product.
Smart design and smart use are critical to keeping your connected devices secure. But you’ll also need to monitor your product, from start to finish. The DADO platform makes that part easier by allowing OEMs to configure products for better maintenance and customer service. If you want to learn more about DADO Labs’ single-source OEM integration platform, visit DADO Labs.