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October 23, 2015

What shouldn’t be connected to the IoT?

Analysis: Can cybersecurity mitigate IoT risks - on a pacemaker? On a production line?

By CBR Staff Writer

The closing session of Dell World 2015 hit on a topic that hasn’t been given a huge airing in discussions of the Internet of Things: what things shouldn’t be connected?

"There are definitely some things that should not be connected," said Joyce Mullen, General Manager, Global OEM and IoT Solutions at Dell.

She explained: "There are plenty of industrial environments where the production line is going and working perfectly fine. You don’t need to connect everything to the internet to accelerate that.

"I think you want that in a closed system, I don’t think you need to connect that to the internet. You may want to build an intranet."

However, Paul Rogers, CEO at Wurldtech, took a different view, arguing that it was the role of security companies to enable these applications to come online, but that some things should remain unconnected.

"You wouldn’t want a pacemaker online; if you hack into a pacemaker that’s a bad day."

With Mullen responding that hacking into a production line would also be a bad day, Rogers said:"It is, and that’s where security comes in. Those things have to be protected."

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Talking about IoT applications in parenting, Mullen said: "I do think there are certain healthcare applications that can make a lot of sense. For example, if your kid has some kind of sleep issues then absolutely. I think monitoring is probably a choice."

"Are we ready? Probably not."

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