Tragedy of the commons: Why IoT regulation may be a necessary evil

Forums Security Discussions (Security) Tragedy of the commons: Why IoT regulation may be a necessary evil

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    Curator Topics
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      What can sheep teach us about securing IoT? To understand the dilemma represented by the need to have secure devices, think about the problem in terms of collective ownership, like sheep grazing in a commonly owned pasture.

      In 1968, an evolutionary biologist named Garret Hardin published a paper in the journal Science with the title “The Tragedy of the Commons.” In it, he described a scenario in which the land provided adequate sustenance for the herd, so long as the number of sheep was kept in check. If each person who grazed on that land acted in their own self-interest and increased the number of sheep they sent to pasture, the land would eventually become insufficient to support the population and, in turn, would be overgrazed to the point where it would it would be unable to support the community that relied upon it. The problem stems from the fact that no single entity in the community is incentivized to take care of the pasture and, as a result, everyone suffers.


      The dilemma is clear. Too much regulation could slow innovation and increase cost for the IoT. Too little and the price for IoT connectivity will be too high for widespread adoption.

      So what is the right level of regulation? It’s likely to be a balance of security versus acceptable risk.


      What is Your Take?

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