Tag Archives: IoT Home Security

The 10 challenges of securing IoT communications

From the very beginning of developing an IoT product, IoT security must be a forethought.

One of the hottest topics at last week’s IoT StreamConf was security. In other words, how are we going to secure communication for billions of connected devices? How can we ensure that attackers can’t take control of our devices, steal information, disrupt services, or take down entire networks of expensive, imperative devices?

With IoT is still in its early stages, security is not fully understood and well-defined when compared to other industries, like the financial and e-commerce sectors. From the very beginning of developing an IoT product, whether it’s small-scale like a wearable device, to massive-scale IoT deployments, like an oil field sensor network or global delivery operation, IoT security must be a forethought.


In this talk, Rohini Pandhi, Product Manager at PubNub, walks through the ten challenges of securing Internet of Things communication. Rohini discusses flexible and secure messaging design patterns for IoT communication, and how they can be implemented and scaled. There are a number of security considerations, but after watching this talk, you should have a good idea of how you can secure your IoT deployment.

(Scroll below video for a table of contents of when individual concepts are talked about in the video).

Video Table of Contents

  1. Defining the Internet of Things (10:27)
  2. Unprotected devices will be attacked (13:15)
  3. Encryption (15:46)
  4. Single security model for all communications (17:56)
  5. Access control (20:13)
  6. Tracking device metadata (21:14)
  7. Provisioning in the field (22:38)
  8. Firmware updates in the field (24:07)
  9. Compliance with regulations (25:15)
  10. Reinventing the wheel (26:17)

More Resources on Securing IoT Communication

Below are a couple great pieces on IoT security, and some code tutorials for IoT developers:

69% of consumers will own an in-home IoT device by 2019

According to recently released study by Accenture’s Acquity Group, 69% of consumers will own an in-home Internet of Things (IoT) device within the next five years. Additionally, the “State of the Internet of Things” report revealed that by the end of 2015, 13% of consumers will have at least one IoT device in their house, such as a thermostat or in-home security camera, tripling today’s 4% ownership.

IoT_Graph_AUG 19

At the same time, sales of wearable technology, like smartwatches and fitness bands, are expected to initially grow faster than the market for connected appliances in the home but somewhat slower over the longer haul. The firm found that just shy of half (43%) of the respondents planned to purchase a wearable device in the next five years, while 22% said they already owned or plan to buy one by 2015.

“These digital devices present major opportunities for improving a brand’s customer experience for a range of consumers. Our data reveals that it’s not only tech enthusiasts who are interested in these kinds of products, but late adopters who also express interest in buying them,” Acquity Group President Jay Dettling said in a statement.

The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 consumers across the United States, found 78% of “late adopters” believed they’d be purchasing a home IoT product in the next five years, while 62% planned on buying a wearable device in that time period.

A pair of major smart home product categories seem to be well poised for strong growth. Accenture highlighted that while only 13% of respondents intend buying a smart thermostat for their homes in the next year, 43% will likely do so by 2019. In addition, 11% of those polled believe they will be installing connected security systems this year or next, with 35% saying they’d do so by 2019.

“On the whole, most devices today aren’t connected nor are they intelligent. By connecting devices ranging from fitness wearables to devices inside the home, I am expecting huge growth over the next five years,” explained Patrick Moorhead, Lead Analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy.

Unfortunately, smart clothing and heads-up displays are expected to see the least overall adoption, with only 3% projected adoption in the next year, and 14-16% over the next five years.


As Internet-enabled devices ranging from home automation to wearables proliferate over the next five years, one can expect to find Atmel | SMART microcontrollers embedded inside.

Interested in more of the study’s findings? You access the entire “State of the Internet of Things” report here.