M2M - The Industry

I hear a lot of people tell me personally, and I read a lot about security and data as it relates to IOT or M2M. The articles and people say things like "our grid is in imminent danger of being hacked", "our hardware provides the maximum amount of security", and “the banks and credit card companies are spending billions on securing our financial data”.  I hear a lot about identity theft, but I don’t know a single person that this has happened to.  Why is it that something so pervasive in our society has escaped all of my colleagues and friends and yet Life-Lock makes it seem that one out of every two people have their identity hacked?

I am not one to fear monger, but the simple truth is that we are completely vulnerable on almost every aspect of our lives (when it comes to security breaches)... our financial records are an obvious target, but also our governmental records, our health records...the list goes on and on. I am here to tell you that the reason most of us are safe has nothing to do with hardware or software, but merely because of statistics.

I will explain.

Statistics, being what they are, tell us that the amount of data generated is simply too great to allow a statistically significant portion of any population to be targeted, much less affected.  We are like the "huddled masses", totally fearing the apocalypse of having our data stolen or our identity compromised when in reality we could probably be blissfully ignorant and uncaring about who sees our PIN number.

How, you might ask?

The reason there is no great worry about data security is that almost no one is interested in your or my data (despite our fears). On top of that, it is almost impossible to do the analytics or decipher anything from it anyways.  I would compare this to the Federal Government trying to find a single stock trade in an account of an individual in the past year. It does not work because the effort required to isolate the trade outweighs the value of the information. Similarly, we could eliminate all theft of data and totally secure every network in the world but the cost would be so great that it would outweigh the value of our time…never mind the cost of doing so.

Frankly, I am tired of all the talk about security, not because it’s not important, but rather because it is so overstated as to its occurrence and its benefit to everyone.  As I am fond of saying, there is an optimal amount of security in the world and we are at equilibrium. 

For a counterpoint on this topic, read this blog post by my fellow Novotech colleague, Larry Bellehumeur, where he talks about how important IoT security is becoming... https://novotech.com/learn/M2M-Blog