The Importance of Data Security in Smart Lighting

12/12/2016   /   Categories :  News

Smart lighting offers a broad range of advantages, ranging from enhanced energy efficiency to using lighting fixtures as high-speed nodes for the Internet of Things. However, lighting manufacturers should not overlook one very important aspect: all connected devices are exposed to hacking, without exception, and launching IoT products and services without addressing data security can have serious consequences.

Consider the DDoS attacks that occurred on October 21 in the United States, for example, where hackers exploited vulnerabilities in dozens of poorly-secured IoT devices, flooding multiple websites with traffic and taking them offline. Data security in IoT devices, including lighting fixtures, should be treated as seriously as that of data centers, private wireless networks and personal computers.

Secure Smart Lighting Products Will Be More Competitive

High-profile Internet security breaches have a remarkable psychological impact and can easily drive the public into a state of panic, even if the actual damage caused by the attack is small. This is where the concept of “hacktivism” comes from; using Internet attacks as a form of public protest. However, companies should exercise caution because a brand-specific data security scandal can easily take them off the market!

However, public fear of hacking can also be used by firms to gain an advantage; a smart lighting company that has taken care to secure its products and services can advertise these features. As the data security issues associated with the Internet of Things are known by the public, more importance will be given to the security features of smart lighting.

Business Partnerships Can Provide Enhanced IoT Security

The leading lighting manufacturers now face a challenge: they have been developing their expertise in lighting products for decades, but connected lighting and visible light communications (VLC) have emerged in a very short timeframe, and companies who don’t adapt will be unable to compete. Tech companies are facing the opposite issue: they have become experts and market leaders in information technologies, but lack experience in the lighting industry.

Many firms have concluded that business partnerships are the way forward, which is the case of Philips and Cisco. The two companies have established a global alliance, with the goal of bringing the best smart lighting products and services to their respective markets. By partnering with Cisco, Philips can make sure that data security is built into their products and services. They will focus strongly on the global office lighting market, which has a value of over EUR 1 billion.

Demand for Data Security Experts in the Lighting Industry Will Increase

Industry challenges are good news for experts, and data security specialists will now have a massive market to work with – billions of new devices, including lighting fixtures, will be brought online as the IoT becomes a mainstream concept. With online freelancing platforms like LightPro, it is now possible for clients to connect globally with specialists on all aspects of the lighting industry, including information technologies.

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