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Internet of Things highlights investment need on a 'vulnerability that people don't want to talk about'

Investment is needed into securing the fundamental stability of the internet to prevent massive breakdowns in communication and services, according to founder and CEO of Evrythng Andy Hobsbawm.

Speaking to The Drum after his presentation at the Guardian Media Summit on the Internet of Things, Hobsbawm warned that while leaps were being made in inter connected technology, investment into securing the fundamental infrastructure of the internet is vital to ensure lives don't come to a halt if internet connections break down.

"There is a lot of people very worried about that," he said. "The internet wasn't designed to protect against things like phishing attacks or malicious coding. There is a lot that needs to be done and I don't think there is enough investment.

"If you look at modern economies and societies there's an enormous amount of vulnerability when systems go down because everything is inter connected. The more connectivity, the higher the vulnerability, and we should be putting more money into protecting systems."

An IT fault caused panic in Scotland last year when hundreds of patients - including people being treated for cancer - had appointments instantly scrapped because internal systems failed. The fault, which prevented patient files from being accessed, took days to fix.

Other recent tech scares have included the failure of ATM machines and card services of major banks, affecting customers both trying to withdraw money or pay for services in shops or online using cards.

During his presentation, Hobsbawm discussed the possibilities in the growing Internet of Things, from devices such as a washing machine that can recommend services to fix itself when it breaks down to kitchen implements that re-order supplies when owners' stocks run low.

With a growing reliance on internet and wireless connections at a personal and national services level, Hobsbawm warned that the internet's vulnerability could bring systems crashing down should connectivity hit problems. However, he is optimistic that the issue will be addressed.

"What tends to happen is predictions of spectacular collapse and calamity tend to get overblown, but what happens is the system then does adapt.

"For instance, people said there wouldn't be enough broadband capacity to handle all of the requests, so of course more fibre was laid and we end up now with more capacity than we need.

"I think we will fix it, but I think there is a real vulnerability that people don't want to talk about it and it means that the wrong thing in the right place could actually bring down a lot of systems.

"I don't thing it's an Internet of Things issue exclusively," he added, "but I think it shines a light on it."

Major tech companies such as Apple, Google and Samsung are heavily investing in the development of wearable technologies and inter connectivity, producing devices such as smartwatches and Google Glass.