Cloudflare to the Rescue of the Internet of Things
If the Internet of Things (IoT) should ever run into a wall, then that wall would be security issues. Seeing the susceptibility of the IoT to exploits and hacks, the search for smart and feasible solutions is already underway. One such solution was presented recently was a US-based company, Cloudflare. The company announced its Orbit service to help tackle the many security-related issues faced by the IoT.
Originally, Cloudflare’s services encapsulated a content delivery network, Internet security services, and distributed domain name server services.
Orbit’s approach is a bit different since it doesn’t follow the traditional approach of providing patches or security for individual devices. Just like a Virtual Private Network (VPN), it acts as a tunnel and a pathway for the devices to gain access to the Internet. To ensure the protection of the data moving through Orbit, Cloudflare will introduce multiple security measures: from Internet Protocol (IP) verification up to full cryptographic connection signing. And the company will also offer Orbit as a standalone product to help businesses get Orbit and not pay for the services they are not interested in.
There are, however, some drawbacks to Orbit. By choosing Orbit, one is exchanging security issues with a centralized control. Simply put, everything is processed by the company providing the service. This consequently begs the question: Are we ready to handover our security to just one company?
Pertaining to the double-edged nature of Orbit, Ang Cui, a security researcher and CEO of the endpoint defense company, Red Balloon said, “I would rather one company come out and do this better than average, but if they implemented it poorly then this becomes a really attractive target and that could be super terrible. The privacy concerns are real.”
Despite what the critics have to say, Orbit has landed a high-profile client — Qualcomm — along with an industrial control company called Swift Sensors, and a smart lock company, Lockitron. As IoT security continues to present more challenges, Orbit appears to be a step in the right direction.
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