As the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution gathers pace, we will soon be living in a world where virtually everything is connected to the internet and the cloud – cars, homes, televisions, coffee machines, and even our showers. “Even babies are controlled by the Internet,” Israeli cyber-security guru Gil Shwed said recently at Israel’s CyberTech conference, referring to a WiFi-enabled crib he had bought.
The increase in wireless connections among objects and people is phenomenal. Research firm Gartner estimates that the number of connected devices and objects will grow from 6.4 billion in 2016 to nearly 21 billion by 2020 – and that excludes smartphones, tablets and computers.
The numbers are undoubtedly staggering, and Israeli companies are significantly contributing to these statistics. According to venture capital firm Innovation Endeavors, there are roughly 330 Israeli IoT companies in a myriad of markets, such as AgTech, healthcare, transportation, smart homes, and consumer products ranging from sportswear to pet care.
But while the IoT world will be one of convenience, efficiency, and automation, would you still buy a smart baby crib if you knew that a hacker could tamper with its settings? Would you sit in a self-driving car knowing that it could be cyber attacked? In 2015, two American engineers demonstrated that they could remotely disable the accelerator of a jeep on the highway, showing that hackers can wreak havoc with so many connected cars already on the roads today.