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Despite major growth, the internet of things is still the “Wild West”

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Good news: The internet of things is growing. Bad news: The internet of things remains unsafe.

Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, spoke onstage at Structure 2014 about the rapid increase of smart products in the average home, based on analysis of one fifth to one quarter of internet traffic in the U.S. and how security still lags behind.

Labovitz said that, according to research, the internet of things is still young: less than 1 percent of households own popular IoT products. However, those products — which include fitness tracker Fitbit (see disclosure) and smart TVs from LG and Samsung — along with mobile products like iPhones, means that homes are full of smart products.

“Every home on average has at least four different devices connected to the net, and it’s growing rapidly,” Labovitz said.

Despite the growing popularity of smart products, Labovitz said that insecure practices mean that hacking is a very real threat. According to research, the most popular site on the Net is, due to flawed routers staying in repeated DNS loop. Poor firmware and security issues go beyond the router, though, as Labovitz said that it’s easy to crack devices. In fact, Deepfield was able to identify problems in smart scales and appliances that show how easy raw, personal data can be exposed. He said that as these products get more popular, companies should prioritize security for the Internet of Things.

“It’s early days, we should be thankful,” Labovitz said. “But man oh man, if we don’t get ahead of this it’s a scary trajectory.”

Check out a video embed of the session below:

Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.

Photo by Jakub Mosur

Structure 2014 ticker

One Response to “Despite major growth, the internet of things is still the “Wild West””

  1. Daniela Krug

    The emphasis on cost and performance of embedded systems can make it difficult to incorporate existing security solutions. Memory is often scarce and devices need to operate on low power.
    We recognise how important security is so we released an open source TLS library ‘MiniTLS’, which has the smallest footprint of any SSL/TLS stack currently on the market. It is specifically designed for internet-connected devices with resource constraints.