'Secure by Design’, a necessary ‘step in the right direction'

If you have kids, it’s likely that at some point you’ll have found yourself on a wet Sunday afternoon in November considering the Disney back catalogue looking for an antidote to young boredom. This is where I found myself a couple of years ago. Which is why, when I first read the secure by design, the thought that popped into my head was a line from Bed knobs and Broomsticks - “it’s a step in the right direction all the same” - so when the time came to write this blog it had to be the way forward.

And it is a step in the right direction, in the same way that the California Bill is a step in the right direction. We have some serious challenges to address over the next decade and connected technologies (IoT) can play a large part in the solutions, but only if its secure.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released its report on global warming, and it does not make for comfortable reading, it clearly indicates that keeping the rise in global temperatures below 1.5 degrees should no longer be considered an ambition but rather a necessity. The report highlights why we need to rapidly move away from traditional fuels to cleaner renewable forms of Energy.

This all means a greater reliance on clean energy (not to mention we will need more energy to deal with the increased use of electric vehicles) and make our existing infrastructure more energy efficient. And this is where technology will play its part. This is where the IoT steps up.

But the IoT, the Great Enabler, is lacking in a few fundamentals which means it’s not quite up to it right now. Its missing some of the key characteristics that it needs to succeed. Because the IoT is a free for all, anything goes sort of enabler, we need to shape it up before it steps up.

[When a baby spider tries to trap a fly. Often times the silken thread will come awry. Though a tangled web is all that he can claim. It's a step in the right direction all the same!]

And that’s what Secure by Design is, a step in the right direction, no more, no less.

I understand it has its critics, I understand that it probably doesn’t go far enough and as a voluntary scheme doesn’t have any teeth, but it does provide an outline of expectations and a statement of intent to the IoT (a shot across the bow?). So, for me, as the world becomes more and more connected, and those connected things start talking to other connected things and so on and so on, a more secure IoT sounds like “it’s a step in the right direction all the same.”

This blog was authored by Sean Gulliford, Principal Consultant, Gemserv

 

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