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How long will consumers put up with the IoT's failures?

Colin Neagle | Jan. 8, 2016
At CES, experts warn that interoperability, networking, and cybersecurity issues could threaten the potential of the Internet of Things.

Mika Majapuro, director of product management for IoT at cybersecurity firm F-Secure, warned about the long-term impact of hacked devices on the market. This problem already plagues the industry, with dozens of brands of connected home security cameras being hacked over the past few years and their live video streams made available on the internet. These are devices that people buy to help make them feel safer, only to find that they've invaded their privacy.

"Whether it's this year or next year, you'll see returns. And it won't be because of a problem with the device, but that the devices are hacked and people are not happy with that," Majapuro said.

Even seemingly benign smart home products like kitchen appliances can be targets, he added. While hackers aren't necessarily interested in controlling a toaster, these devices could be their way onto the network where they can find more valuable data. 

Majapuro said that he wouldn't be surprised if startups and smaller companies in this space end up going out of business after suffering a hack, as the loss of trust could ruin their reputation in the market.

These are all important concerns for an industry that many experts expect to explode in the coming years. Gartner has predicted that the typical family home will contain as many as 500 networked devices by 2020. If the market is to make it to that point, these issues will need to be addressed.

 

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