One of the issues with WiFi today is that it’s very vulnerable when we leave it open. If you’ve played with rudimentary tools like Wireshark, you can see all the traffic that’s running on that network. Any packets that aren’t encrypted can be read and sometimes this includes web session tokens or even passwords.
The result is that passwords can be stolen and web sessions hijacked by malicious programs. This is why you add a password to your home network (and some would say always run a VPN).
The problem is that this means you need an app or browser to setup a headless device to enter SSID and password. This little pain means that there are devices that stay in boxes long after they’re purchase because the WiFi setup is just too much trouble.
What if there was another way? What if our routers created a separate SSID just for IOT devices and these could automatically connect to the Internet through this SSID. The data being sent by the device would be fully encrypted or the device would connect to its own VPN before sending. The router could also potentially act as a gateway to other devices to send information.
No device connected to the password protected network would be visible to this device.
OK — but what if my IOT device connects to my neighbour’s IOT subnet? So what? It would still be able to be controlled and could switch over to your own network if the signal were stronger.
Not being a network security expert, I realize that there a lot of flaws and threats that I’m not accounting for. However, with all of these new routers becoming available like Google’s new device, the network enrolment issue for IOT devices is just begging to be solved.