The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection of computing devices and sensors embedded into everyday objects such as vehicles, machines and even smart home appliances.
With an open connection to the internet as these devices constantly collect and exchange data, this means that cybercriminals could potentially predict an individual’s movements, zero in on their current location, or analyse their habits in order to identify opportunities.
Christelle Colman, Managing Director of Elite Risk Acceptances believes that while this technology has the potential to greatly increase convenience in everyday life, IoT enabled appliances can also betray their owners presenting new insurance challenges.
‘Taking control of connected IoT devices in order to mine cryptocurrency or to create a network of co-opted devices for illicit purposes, is also on the rise. Not only does this shorten the life of the device, but it can also significantly increase energy consumption and connectivity in someone’s home,’ says Colman.
Considering the growth of wearable tech, sensors in vehicles, and location-based sensors in home appliances we are facing rapidly growing risk to our homes and or personal safety. Coleman suggests that while most devices do not have adequate security in place, it is crucial that home-based routers and networks are equipped and maintained with the right level of security software, and that passwords are regularly updated.
‘Remain cognisant of the fact that IoT devices are constantly collecting user data and become selective about the kind of data that is shared, as well as when and where IoT enabled devices are allowed to access the internet,’ Colman added.