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ThingsFollowing on from my post on IoT Device Security Considerations and Security Layers the subject of this blog post is to look at the Power Source layer.

Power Sources for IoT Devices will differ depending upon the type of IoT Device being used or designed and its use, however they will fall into 3 main source of power.

  • Mains
  • Battery
  • Wireless

So how secure is a power source? There have been demonstrations on how data can be hacked through power outlets (How to use electrical outlets and cheap lasers to steal data) which have concentrated on using the fluctuations and noise in the power supply to work out what is being typed. This would effect both mains and wireless connections as these could be monitored in some way.  Battery presents a more secure method of providing a power supply.

At present any breaches using a power source are few and far between, however as the IoT connected world continues to evolve, perhaps this is one area that more security considerations are needed.

Not all IoT Devices will need mains power as there is a huge drive for wearables and mobile. The mains power would be aimed more at IoT devices within a business (such as plant machinery sensors) or a home system (turning on power or heating).

Mains also provides a medium to connect IoT devices such as Smart Meters or a Home Network over the mains using Ethernet to Power converters. IoT devices may well utilise this as a method to communicate back to a local hub, then off to a central hub via normal network connectivity.

There are already standards/rules for smart meters set out to protect devices and consumers around:

  • Data Access and Privacy
  • Security

(Smart meters and how they work)

Battery IoT Devices tend to be self contained for power and apart from a future change of the battery when its power expires connectivity and networking tend to be through the front end.

As the IoT advances there will be advancements in the protection for devices and in the rules that govern them. Not all devices will be equal with the same power needs, but one thing is constant. They all need power to operate in one form or another.

Some useful links: