Smart Toys and Their Cybersecurity Risks: Are Our Toys Becoming a Sci-Fi Nightmare?

In an episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “Living Doll,” a lifelike doll named Talky Tina turned rogue and terrorized a family. This nightmare scenario of out-of-control toys is sometimes portrayed in sci-fi novels and films — but are we entering the Twilight Zone with modern-day smart toys?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is touching every aspect of our lives and work. Across our industries, the industrial version of the IoT (sometimes called the IIoT) is growing exponentially, with a predicted market value of over $232 billion by 2023. The consumer marketplace is also growing at pace, with a market worth of around $124 million in the same time span. With values like this, manufacturers are jumping on the IoT bandwagon and adding IoT components to everything from fridges to teddy bears.

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The march of progress can be a wonderful thing. It’s exciting, and in the case of the IIoT can bring about improvements in productivity and help make communications smooth across complex global vendor networks. In the case of consumer IoT products, nothing is without its IoT version.

And one area that is embracing the Internet and adding more fun into our toys is the smart toy. Who wouldn’t want a smart teddy like “Smart ToyR” from Fisher-Price? The teddy can understand your child’s voice and respond to him or her in an intelligent way, making up stories and being a fun furry friend.

But is the promise of such clever toys too good to be true? Will the sweetness of that smart toy under the Christmas tree carry a sting in the tail caused by cybersecurity vulnerabilities?

When Good Toys Go Bad

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) deals with the protection of personal information of children under 13 (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from InfoSec Resources authored by Susan Morrow. Read the original post at: