Leading Open Internet Advocacy Group Publishes White Paper to Demystify and Promote Further Dialogue Concerning the Internet of Things

Posted on March 16th, 2016

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OpenStand readers are more than familiar with current trends and issues related to the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT).  We’ve witnessed reliable and exponential growth in the number of Internet users, especially users accessing the web via smartphones and other web-enabled mobile devices. Experts now predict that the number of internet-enabled devices will grow at an ever greater magnitude thanks to the IoT.

Though these sorts of predictions are no exact science, some industry analysts have project there will be over 100 billion devices connected to the Internet over the next decade. This sort of growth is completely unprecedented and presents some very real challenges for those seeking to prioritize cybersecurity in an age of unparalleled web activity.

The Internet Society (IS), a web standards and advocacy group, has addressed these concerns in depth in a recently published white paper entitled “The Internet of Things: An Overview – Understanding the Issues and Challenges of a More Connected World”. The intent of this paper is to inform interested parties about some of the critically important aspects of the IoT, as well as setting the stage for further sustained conversation to take place.

In addition to covering the basic information concerning the IoT (such as explaining what exactly it is), the IS’s white paper focuses on what it deems the five main challenge areas:

  • Security
  • Privacy
  • Interoperability and standards
  • Legal, regulatory, and rights
  • Emerging economies and development

Each of these areas is covered in depth and pertinent questions are identified in a bid to keep the conversation going. Perhaps the most significant issue that the paper raises is the matter of security. As we have discussed before, the IoT promises to be an area of exponential growth in Internet connectivity. The notion of millions or even billions of devices with poorly established security specifications all sending and receiving personal data should be enough to give any safety-minded user pause. It is for this reason that the IS’s white paper is so well timed. It is very important that concerned individuals and organizations educate themselves regarding the challenges and opportunities that the IoT represents, and to mobilize in the push for security standards to be designed and implemented in the IoT.

For those who are interested in the IS’s continued coverage on IoT, you can follow their blog at: www.internetsociety.org/iot

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