German Professor Develops Method to Secure IoT Smart Device Data

German professor Martina Zitterbart is developing a way to hide from prying eyes data transmitted on the numberless smart devices that will run on the burgeoning Internet of Things.

At the display for the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, I found the professor trying to explain a tough problem. The problem is finding effective ways to protect sensitive information when you have to share it. The specific issue Zitterbart was facing was finding ways to provide the data that public utilities such as the power and water companies need while not compromising customer privacy.

In addition, she was working on ways to improve the security of the connections between smart devices in homes and businesses while still allowing them to work effectively. This is becoming ever more important with the expansion of what’s become known as the Internet of things (IoT).

The problem is made more complex with smart devices because of their limited capabilities. You can’t just slap a software firewall on an electric meter, after all, because it doesn’t have the computing capacity.

The problem boils down to finding a way to share necessary information with those government agencies and private companies that collect data, give them the information they actually need to do business with you, but still maintain security and privacy. … (read more)