IoT, game-changing, but risky

January 2016 Access Control & Identity Management, Cyber Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) is making its way into the surveillance industry, bringing with it security benefits and unforeseen risks.

Sensors have turned surveillance companies into more than just eyes in the sky. They can monitor movement, changes in temperature or any other security flag in areas where it’s not feasible to install expensive cameras. For example, a sensor can pick up when someone enters a storage facility and alert the control room if that area is restricted.

In Amsterdam, sensors monitor people movement during big events and send information to the control room as movement happens. People running could indicate an emergency situation, helping response teams decide how to react and mapping out the least congested routes for emergency vehicles.

Sensors are also being used in surveillance drones in emergency situations. If a building is on fire, response teams can send drones to assess the damage and search for injured people before unnecessarily endangering the lives of medical personnel.

But the IoT also presents new security risks, as information in the cloud is vulnerable to hacking and manipulation.

By breaching a company network, criminals will know that a certain area of a building is unoccupied, as the sensors are not detecting movement, giving them an opportunity to break in and steal whatever they want. Hackers can also jam sensors to send incorrect information to a control room – that a door is closed when it is actually open, for example.

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