Avast Blog

Internet of Things—Friend and Foe: Preview of Avast IoT presentation at MWCA

Written by Jennifer Bennett | 7 September 2017

Constant pursuit. Near captures. Repeated escapes. Hackers and their targets seem to be caught in this unending loop of cat-and-mouse action. The hackers pursue incessantly, and while their targets may sometimes escape, at other times they’re not so lucky. How can we change the game?

The internet of things (IoT) keeps us connected online from virtually any device, at any time, in any location. Security needs to be at the heart of enabling IoT, but where are its weaknesses, and how can the industry ensure a safe ecosystem for all devices?  

In his talk this Wednesday at Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA), Gagan Singh will explore the cyber threats and challenges facing us today in IoT and mobile, and how we can overcome the unexpected security and privacy risks.

The Age of IoT

We use our mobile phone for everything from paying bills to buying groceries to booking activities online. And with IoT, we also use it to control the router, lower or raise the thermostat, lock our doors. 

The latest IoT devices are quickly becoming staples in our homes, transforming our lives. They have evolved from the standard baby cam to automated home assistants and smart refrigerators. They help us manage our busy lives by giving us full home control right in our pocket. If we go away and realize we forgot to turn off the heater, no worries. There’s an app for that. From thermostats to webcams and more, we can use any Wi-Fi network to connect with our digital helpers at home.

Speaking of digital helpers, we can enjoy entertainment, access the latest news, and control other IoT devices simply by speaking our wishes out loud to connected, automated home assistants. The good news is that Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are sophisticated examples of digital home helpers with a very high level of security enabled. They are among the exceptions to the rule, and they deserve credit for being thorough in their development, considering a layer of security by design from the outset.

What’s the danger, and how do I protect myself?

You may not realize it, but our online habits expose us to more unexpected security and privacy risks than ever before, no matter where or how we connect—at home, in the local coffee shop, even in flight. To learn the specifics of the problem, and the details of the solution, come hear Gagan speak at the IoT conference this Wednesday. See you there!

When: Wednesday, September 13th, 3:00-4:30pm
Where: Moscone South Esplanade Level, Auditorium 3