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The Internet of Things: Where Are The Device Monitors For Consumers?
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The Internet of Things: Where Are The Device Monitors For Consumers? - Executive Leadership Articles

The Internet of Things: Where Are The Device Monitors For Consumers?

Executive Leadership Articles

The Internet of Things: Where Are The Device Monitors For Consumers?

We keep reading the numbers: this many billion devices connected to the internet by a certain year. This many homes integrating more IoT devices at mind-boggling rates, empowered by the popularity and ease of installing such devices as Amazon Echo and Google Home.

We also keep reading about cautions and vulnerabilities. Each device presents its own vulnerability to hackers or malware. Many devices employ third-party services, which each present their own vulnerabilities not only to our safety but to our privacy as well.

Yet from the consumer end, while we receive regular tips on best practices for security and data control, we do not see consumer-level (that is, easy to launch and easy to use) tools for monitoring our own networks and devices. Sure, the software that keeps an eye on our home networks will tell us which devices are connected and sometimes even how much data they’re using, but where is the full-on dashboard keeping an eye on each connected device for vulnerabilities or data anomalies?

These things exist on provider-side levels. Amazon Web Services launched AWS IoT Device Defender, which comes attached to its cloud services. The service has two toggle-able functions, creatively titled Audit and Detect. Audit monitors device-related policies and certificates so that devices have good security configurations. Defender keeps an eye on security metrics for devices, metrics which can be configured by the service provider for keeping an eye on patterns of use.

This basically means that Company X, when it sells you its internet-connected light bulb, if it is using AWS to power the lightbulb’s functionality, can keep an eye on the way its millions of lightbulbs are behaving when used regularly, so Company X can act quickly when it notices anomalies, clues that its lightbulbs may be used in malicious ways by outside parties.

This isn’t the only such service. As IoT device sellers recognize the importance of their roles in keeping our networks safe and operational, they should take steps to maintain the integrity of their products beyond taking your money and handing you your product. A small handful of device monitoring services exist now at this level.

But while the landscape is still the wild frontier, it hasn’t yet settled into any real standards that would make keeping an eye on our own private networks as easy to implement, use, and understand as our router software. Perhaps there’s no market for it: how many people, after all, long to know what each app on their smartphones is communicating through the cloud, or to whom, or why? Still, many of us would probably appreciate a user-friendly addition to the easy plug-and-play model most of these devices sell us: a plug-play-monitor layer that lets the consumer control and keep a close eye on the behaviors of our smart homes.

 

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The Internet of Things: Where Are The Device Monitors For Consumers? - Executive Leadership Articles

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