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The Internet of Things: New Crime, New Evidence

The Internet of Things (IoT) is beginning to change the landscape for crime and digital evidence. Are you prepared for the future of investigations?

Posted by Katie Yahnke on September 7th, 2017

Thanks to the rapid evolution of technology, having a “smart” product is the new norm and the majority of new devices are, in one way or another, connected. Over the next decade or so, all of the appliances in each room of your house will be communicating with one another across a shared network and your home itself will be considered “smart”, too. With new technology and devices entering the network on any given day, we are quickly creating a massive, interconnected network that experts like to call the Internet of Things (also frequently called the Internet of Everything).

To stay relevant, productive, and efficient as an investigator, it's crucial to conduct your work in a way that fits the crime.
Relating to misconduct, the Internet of Things is providing a brand new environment for crime that has never before been seen. According to Walt Manning in his webinar, The Technology Explosion and the Future of Investigations, new threats are being introduced daily yet we are investigating them using the same methods and tools we have all along. This is problematic and will continue to grow in scale as the Internet of Things becomes more and more widespread. To stay relevant, productive, and efficient as an investigator, it’s crucial to conduct your work in a way that fits the crime.

The Growing Trend of Cybercrime

When data is sent across the Internet of Things from one device to another, there’s an opportunity to revitalize old-school crimes by executing them online. Hackers navigate the IoT to steal company and customer information from online servers, which they can then either sell or use as blackmail. Wired has been maintaining a list of companies that have had their data compromised by hackers in 2017. Among the victims are Verizon, Chipotle, Bell, and E-Sports Entertainment.

Are you protected? Check out our Top 20 Tips for Preventing Data Theft.

Home and personal products are vulnerable to hacking as well, particularly with the rising popularity of home automation. Smart home devices that are connected to the Internet of Things have the potential to be accessed by a third-party group or individual located anywhere in the world. Once they have accessed your device, they then have free-reign of your personal information.

Investigative Evidence in the Cloud

The problem is that investigators are still bound by outdated laws and inadequate technology training.
There is an unprecedented amount of data being sent and received at any given time because of the billions of connected devices and the Internet of Things. Instead of being saved on a device and taking up space, much of our data is stored in the “cloud”, a massive external network of servers. And while having essentially unlimited data at your fingertips would seem to be beneficial while conducting an investigation, the problem is that investigators are still bound by outdated laws and inadequate technology training. The creation of the Internet of Things and the cloud has forced investigators to change their approach to finding, collecting, and storing evidence.

Not everyone knows how to gather evidence from the web. Our Using Social Media in Investigations cheat sheet can help.

The Internet of Things requires that investigators know what exactly they’re looking for and where it might be located. The best way to prepare for the future is to do your research, develop new skills, and embrace the opportunity to be an expert in your field.

Want to know more? Watch the entire webinar by Walt Manning where he talks about the Internet of Things, and how it’s changing crime and investigations.

Katie Yahnke
Katie Yahnke

Marketing Writer

Katie is a former marketing writer at i-Sight. She writes on topics that range from fraud, corporate security and workplace investigations to corporate culture, ethics and compliance.

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