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By 2020, the nebulous network of interconnected items known as the Internet of Things (IoT) will include around 50 billion objects, from smart cars to smart homes and beyond, predicts the technology conglomerate Cisco. By then, the IoT market will be worth an estimated $7.1 trillion, according to International Data Corporation.

But not only does global connectedness highlight opportunities, it reveals and amplifies vulnerabilities. In 2013, for example, a large retailer was breached when hackers entered its network via the company’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system. And researchers recently found their way into an automobile’s controls via the vehicle’s CD playback system.

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