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Throughout 2020, and continuing into 2021, there has been an unprecedented surge in the use and acquisition of IoT devices for both home / personal and business environments.
According to CMI, in the global IoT market, the installed base of IoT devices will reach 23.1 billion devices in 2018. It is expected to grow to 30.7 billion devices in 2020 and to 75.4 billion in 2025.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices are pieces of technology / hardware that are programmed to transmit data over a network. These devices are already in use throughout the industry around the world.
Manufacturing companies are using IoT for automation, hospitals are relying on IoT devices for medical procedures and monitoring, home security systems are becoming more popular day by day, and the Smart plugs and doorbells continue to make our lives easier both at work and at home.
IoT, a blessing or a curse?
There are, without a doubt, great benefits to business IoT devices, including:
- Efficiency. By automating monotonous tasks.
- Data collection. By using IoT devices, businesses can collect more data that can be used to help make business decisions.
- Customer experience. By engaging with customers through smart automation, the customer journey is often improved.
- Flexibility. By controlling everything from your phone, business elements can be operated and monitored remotely, regardless of location or time of day.
But this growth is, in many ways, quite problematic. These devices, if not configured properly, are unsafe. And in most of the world working remotely and getting devices to make new living conditions better / easier, means hackers have a huge advantage. Everything is great third party risks, botnets, ATP, DDnS attacks, supply chain attacks, ransomware attacks and human attacks in the center, to name just a few, have risen this year. This is not surprising, since evil actors today have a far greater threat on the surface full of vulnerabilities to explore.
“Not only has the number of attacks increased, but so has the severity of the attack. In fact, ‘researchers from Microsoft have seen many of the country’s hacking groups targeting commonly used IoT devices to gain access to organizations ’networks and seek out more important targets within the business,” said Jessica Davis, Health IT Security.
Eleanor Barlow, SecurityHQ, added: “What’s more, people are not educated on how to use these IoT devices. They are often easily accessible online, on amazon and eBay for example, and are not expensive. Users often believe that once set up, their € 50 device is completely safe, as they trust that the manufacturers have covered this element.But this is far from the case.
“So, imagine if a hacker manages your network, completely undetected, and enters your security cameras, your audio, your monitors, your doorbell. Soon, what is designed to be guarded, will become a point to look out for the attacker. Even your smart freezer can be an alert system of your activities. “
Now image it, but on a larger scale, outside the home environment. For example, get health care. The last 12 months have seen an exponential number of attacks on IoT-based medical devices. This includes devices such as vital sign monitors, implant devices, smart pens, and wireless infusion pumps. This means that hospitals should be completely clear when it comes to working on their MSSP, and all areas of vulnerabilities in digital platforms should take precedence.
The more we rely on these devices, the more we rely on proper security, and the more we fall victim if those security processes are not in place. The IoT is making money, and with the hope of this connectivity, ransomware attacks are only growing.
According to Statista, 43% of all networked devices will be connected to mobile ‘by the end of 2021. Of course, there are many benefits of controlling things from your mobile device. Take security Apps, for example. Cyber is not sleeping. Survival demands agility and response demands cooperation, visibility, and action, which is why apps for clients to handle and respond to incidents anytime, anywhere from their phone, security posture can be increased. For example, IBM connects to the user’s device using APIs to connect apps to device data. But if you can control everything from one portable device, you also need to make sure everything portable devices are secured.
Which means the user should be:
- Create strong passwords on each device. Using different complex passwords.
- Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication for all account activity.
- Keep devices locked when away from them.
- Adjust the browser settings of each device.
- Keep the OS and all Apps updated.
- Do not install apps from third party portals. Just install them directly from the app store. (Read more about how to detect third party risk in SecurityHQ Blog.)
- Do not use open Wi-Fi networks.
- When in doubt, contact an expert.
The message to be removed is to secure your portable devices, properly configure IoT devices, monitor and secure your business network using experts who know how to detect and respond to threats.
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