Referring to the cyber challenges around IOT devices, “Data is the new ‘Oil’ was the remark made by Mr. Lindley, from the University of Lancaster, when he spoke recently at the recent Cheltenham Science Festival.

Mr. Lindley explained how tech companies are not only using smart technology to sell us new ground breaking products, but are also using innovative IOT gadgets to the monitor our habits and routines as well as our likes and dislikes as part of a wider and newly emerging ‘data economy’.

Those that use Netflix will recognise how the company regularly categorises its programmes to offer personalized viewing based on the user’s likes and preferences.  Category titles such as “Top Picks For” and “Because you watched…”, etc. are all too familiar to viewers when searching for a new show to watch and so collecting data on the types of programmes that we like to see when we watch them as well as how and when we watch them and then selling the data back to the service providers, is far more the valuable than the device itself.

The challenge at this moment in time is in educating customers that when they buy into IOT gadgets they must be prepared for the possibility that their data could be / will be accessed without giving any choice.  Data is an extremely valuable commodity and whilst GDPR is in place to protect, there are loop holes in that when the IOT products are purchased, the customer is basically signing up to allow access in giving these companies the ability to track their behavior and viewing preferences at any given time.

IOT Gadgets and the future

How security is managed to eliminate third parties is the wider challenge, especially when a multi-operational supply chain has input in building a product.  This means that the data may be being accessed not only be the product brand itself, but also those individual companies who have manufactured individual components to bring the complete product together.  How security is tested in the future will be key to the success and longevity of IOT gadgets.

For more information on protecting IOT gadgets and captured data within your business, please contact our team at Crendon Insurance Ltd.  We support Manufacturers and Tech companies against the liability of IOT through IOT insurance, data protection insurance and cyber liability insurance, for those who use IOT to programme goods and for their developments within their supply chain.

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