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From IoT to IoTT: The Journey to an Internet of Trusted Things

We all know that the Internet of Things (IoT) is posing a massive security challenge today. From hackers hijacking IoT devices with malware for DDoS attacks to the leaking of personal data due to a lack of security measures on these gadgets, there are very few pieces of IoT technology that consumers can honestly trust. Beyond this, more companies are deploying IoT on their corporate networks, installing wireless monitoring and control systems, environmental devices and other tools that could be leveraged to spy on them or disrupt operations. We’ve talked about how easily a worse case scenario could erupt around IoT in the past, but it’s time to talk about how we could fix the IoT nightmare.

Internet of ‘Trusted’ Things

One way to begin overcoming the IoT problem is to stop deploying any seemingly useful IoT device we get our hands on. A smart thermostat might seem like a great idea, but if it lets a hacker gain access to your servers as a result, you have a problem. According to Wisam Yaghmour, regional sales director – MEA at HID Global, the only way to accomplish this is to add multi factor authentication to our IoT devices, turning them into trusted devices.

An Internet of Trusted Things (IoTT) would address several problems. Using multi factor authentication to access these devices improves security, but it also creates a foundation for future device implementation and development. Or, as Yaghmour puts it, it will change the playing field for identity technology entirely.

“As organizations seek to use a number of smart devices, it directly impacts how customers view and use trusted identities across more activities in more connected environments,” Yaghmour writes at ITP.net. “Users will want to open doors, login to cloud resources, access print jobs and conduct other daily activities using trusted IDs on their phone, wearables or smart cards.”

Leveraging Trusted Identity for IoTT

Using trusted identity as the foundation for IoTT provides a baseline for protection from cyber attacks, as well as the infrastructure for smart buildings moving forward. According to a recent IFSEC Global study on access control, the integration of multi factor authentication solutions into building automation and IoTT will significantly improve the security of today’s increasingly connected society and workplaces.

The study found that an impressive 85 percent of respondents want their identities to be connected across systems and devices for easier access, with 60 percent saying their organization’s access control systems are already linked into other building systems. Now they just need a way to more effectively secure that access.

Adding biometrics to these multi factor authentication systems provides an additional level of trust that no other authentication factor can achieve. Biometrics prove who you are, not just something you know or have – like a password or mobile device. Upgrading to biometrics-based multi factor platforms adds another layer of security and eliminates significant inconvenience for the end user by getting rid of easy-to-forget passwords or cumbersome security tokens.

We need to tie our security and identities more closely together to protect both ourselves and our critical systems on a personal and enterprise level. Biometric authentication can provide a stronger foundation for these efforts as we embrace modern technologies like IoT.

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