We are rapidly being surrounded by the Internet of Things. Cameras, smart speakers, refrigerators, cars – billions of IoT devices globally, and estimated to be over 20 billion by 2020. IoT devices are connected to the Internet and communicating constantly, learning and sharing information. Now comes, the Internet of Bodies which maybe closer than we may imagine.
What is IoB? IoB refers to a network of smart devices attached to or implanted in human bodies. Examples of IoB devices include:
- An artificial pancreas device that monitors blood glucose and delivers insulin
- Remotely monitored heart pacemakers
Consider smart pills containing sensors being developed to deliver cancer treatment or send status reports to a smartphone from inside your stomach. A self-tuning brain implant powered by chips is being tested to treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s symptoms. Prosthetic limbs can include software or be “hard-wired” to bones, while neural-bypass devices can reroute brain signals past a spinal injury, enabling paralyzed limbs to move again.
IoB raises several issues and complications, including:
- Who controls these IoB devices in our bodies?
- Who is responsible for ensuring the IoB devices work as intended?
- Who can use the IoB device, body derived data?
Equally important, are the challenges associated with the security of such devices including all information processed or transmitted. The vulnerabilities associated with IoT devices have been significant and they have been exploited. Think about to the Mirai malware and over 500,000 IoT devices compromised to form a botnet army resulting in a DDoS driven massive cyber-attack (October 21, 2016). The past is a mirror to the future.
As IoB devices emerge, individuals and organizations will need to understand and address cybersecurity and compliance challenges.
Discuss IoT and IoB cybersecurity challenges with Ali Pabrai at Pabrai@ecfirst.com. Join me on December 4, 2018 for a fast paced Webinar on HITRUST: Roadmap to Certification: Framework for Active Cyber Defense. Register at www.ecfirst.com.
Date: November 20, 2018