Solving IoT Security with Transparency

IoT device security is broken. A 2019 study by the Internet Society found that 70% of consumer IoT devices contain serious vulnerabilities, leaving your private data (such as banking passwords) open to attack through one of these products. Most of these devices are everyday items which go unnoticed by consumers until they are hacked. This is exactly what happened to a North American casino in 2017 when their data was stolen through a vulnerable fish tank on the casino floor.  


Why do manufacturers build vulnerable products? Because the economic incentives do not encourage security. Building secure products requires hiring outside experts, implementing security features, and going through testing- effort that could be spent on marketplace-differentiating features instead. Governments are trying to address this issue by enacting laws requiring manufacturers to secure their devices. California enacted the Information Privacy Connected Devices Act (SB 327) in 2018 and Oregon followed in 2019. UK is passing a similar law and the European Union is kicking off an effort to develop EU-wide regulations. Although regulations are meant to improve security, they develop slowly, are often too vague, and lack the proper penalties. But what if security was an important marketplace-differentiating feature? What if consumers could objectively see how secure a product is, and use this information in their purchase decisions?  


Wivity believes the quickest path to a secure Internet of Things is more transparency for purchasers. This is why we’re introducing the Device Security Registry™ (DSR) and devicelookup.com. The DSR is a decentralized app (DApp) that runs on a blockchain and records security information on a product SKU. Devicelookup.com is a website that consumers and enterprise can use to see if a particular product is secure enough for their application. We’re working with test labs, certification bodies, manufacturers, and cybersecurity solution providers to create a system that works for all. If you’d like to learn more about joining us, please reach out. And the next time you shop for that next smart refrigerator or industrial sensor, first visit https://www.devicelookup.com. Your data will thank you.


By Alfred Tom on October 9, 2019

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