July 9, 2015 — On the heels of a California law that makes it mandatory for smartphone to have a “kill switch,” some carriers and smartphone manufacturers are finally coming around to the fact that smartphones are a security risk.
The kill switch is a baseline-level security measure but hardly the type of security that gives the mobile platform industry an A+. It simply enables the ability to lock, remotely, the phone and/or wipe user’s data if it the device is lost or stolen, plus a couple of extras.
This is really only a cursory measure that deals with lost or stolen cell phones. The security issue goes much deeper, especially with the emerging technologies of small cells, 5G, ubiquitous Wi-Fi, and the Internet of everything (IoE). Security is now a prime consideration for all wireless interconnect and all wireless devices.
Recently, researchers at the NJ Institute of Technology released an infographic, which notes the following:
Basically, that means, that most of the sensitive data we own are there for the taking – scary stuff.
For example, researchers at University of Michigan seized control of almost 100 intersections by manipulating traffic lights using nothing but laptops and some basic radio broadcast equipment. And they do not have near the resources that organized, well-funded perpetrators and hackers have.
If security doesn’t get a top billing with all the emerging wireless technologies, the results are going to be disastrous. Some of us have been preaching that for a while now. As with most cases, action follows disaster. But with the Internet of Everything, and all the technologies that will be part of it, that is a bad precept because the disaster will be on a scale unlike anything we have seen to date.