The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is growing fast. There are an estimated one billion websites online today and there will be an estimated 20.8 billion connected ‘things’ by 2020. It is reasonable to believe that any device which can be connected to the Internet, from home automation to hospital equipment, from cars to the power grid, will be connected in the near future.
Imagine the following scenario: Your connected car checks your calendar to find out where you need to be, it talks with other cars to determine the fastest route — and even makes a pitstop for the Starbucks coffee it ordered for you ahead of time. Awesome, right?
However, when you peel away the glamor of IoT and peer into the inner workings, what you find is startling.
Both IoT creators and users are in trouble.
Here’s why: most device manufacturers are woefully inexperienced when it comes to security. Researchers have exposed security holes in everything from WiFi-enabled Barbie dolls to two-ton Jeep Cherokees. Even the former vice-president of the United States, Dick Cheney, was aware of how insecure the IoT can be; he had his pacemaker’s WiFi capability turned off, for fear that an attacker could deliver a fatal shock.
The problem is not just that IoT devices can be hacked into, but hackers can then weaponize the devices. IoT-driven botnets, powering record-breaking DDoS attacks, have already caused issues that are downright scary. In one case, cloud-hosting giant Akamai Technologies dumped the blog “Krebs on Security” from its servers after the site came under a massive IoT-driven DDoS attack that was so large Akamai couldn’t handle the traffic.
To make matters worse, IoT creators are also inexperienced in networking. Communication between devices is often slow and inefficient.
For example, an IoT creator may try to make his network stand out by instructing connected devices to load a unique, high-resolution PNG image. But if his developers left out the necessary compression and cache utilities, there’s a big price to pay. When your device loads the image, the process will be resource-intensive and time-consuming, draining your device’s battery and consuming your data allotment.
IoT creators and users need help.
It is, frankly, impossible to standardize security and optimization procedures among scores of IoT creators and across 20-billion devices. The real solution is in the network itself.
IoT creators need a fast and safe DNS. But it’s obviously not realistic for each one to build his own DNS. There’s a simple answer. IoT creators need an existing DNS provider to step up.
Ideally, IoT DNS should:
- speed up communication;
- load balance and geo-steer traffic;
- encrypt communication with SSL;
- defend against inbound attacks; and
- identify and stop outbound attacks.
So then, which DNS provider will rise to the challenge?