What is SMART technology?
- SMART technology is a term used to describe devices and systems that have advanced capabilities, connectivity, and the ability to gather and analyze data to make intelligent decisions or respond to user commands.
- SMART technology is an integral part of the broader concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), where everyday objects and devices are connected to the internet and can communicate with each other and with users.
- SMART technology enhances convenience, efficiency, and automation in various aspects of daily life.
Common examples of SMART technology
- SMART Home Devices: Devices like SMART thermostats, SMART lighting systems, SMART speakers (e.g., Amazon Echo, Google Home), and SMART security cameras that can be controlled remotely via a smartphone or voice commands.
- SMART Wearables: Fitness trackers, SMART watches, and other wearable devices that monitor health metrics and activities and sync the data with smartphones or computers.
- SMART Appliances: SMART refrigerators, washing machines, and ovens that can be controlled and monitored through apps on smartphones.
- SMART Cars: Automobiles equipped with advanced sensors and connectivity that can provide real-time navigation, diagnostics, and safety features.
Growing Adoption of SMART Technology
- Increasing Popularity: SMART technology is gaining popularity in various residential and office spaces in India.
- Diverse SMART Products: SMART CCTVs, air conditioners, refrigerators, coffee machines, printers, bulbs, and more are among the diverse SMART products being adopted.
- Remote Operation: These SMART devices offer remote operation and adaptability to user preferences.
- IoT Sector Growth: The IoT sector in India is projected to reach a turnover of US$1.1 billion by 2023, with significant growth observed in the market for IoT products (264 percent increase in Q2 2022).
Security Concerns with SMART Technology
- Ambiguity in Bans: Despite bans on Chinese applications and technology in various countries (UK, US, New Zealand, India), concerns persist regarding SMART products with Chinese data sensors, components, and modules.
- Dependency on Chinese Components: Even SMART products manufactured in the West rely on China for critical data sensors, modules, and transmitters.
- Backend Dependency: Chinese servers often handle data storage and software upgrades for SMART products, creating potential security vulnerabilities.
- Data Transmission Risks: SMART devices could be susceptible to data transmission back to China through embedded backdoors and listening channels.
- UK Report Findings: A report in the UK raised alarms about the potential use of Chinese SMART components to track officials, stifle industrial activity, and harvest sensitive military information.
Addressing Security Concerns in India’s Military Establishments
- Formalizing Security Plans: India’s military needs to formalize strategies to address security concerns related to SMART technologies.
- Categorizing Vulnerable Devices: Analyzing and categorizing SMART products used in non-technical, non-operational military spaces for potential bans on devices relaying information to China.
- Thorough Vetting for New Implementations: Any new software or technologies implemented in military areas must undergo strict vetting for links with China, irrespective of their origin.
- Coherent and Institutionalized Approach: Adopting a coherent and institutionalized approach will enable proactive prevention of data leaks and breaches through SMART technologies and IoT with Chinese linkages, ensuring the safeguarding of sensitive military information.