Internet of Things: All this new and rich reality brings inherent problems, and both companies and consumers must be aware of them to take full advantage of the benefits this IoT trend can bring, mitigating its risks.
Without a doubt, the most prominent of these are cyber threats. The proliferation of the volume of connected devices has not had an adequate response from a security point of view; as a result, the attack surface of homes and businesses has grown enormously without effective response systems for the new threat vectors. Some surveys show growth in attacks on these devices above 200% throughout 2018. Among the threats, it is worth mentioning crypto mining, exploitation of vulnerabilities for network access, invasion of monitoring equipment for spying and theft of credentials, among others.
Given criminals’ growing interest in these devices, businesses and home users must invest in security. In the case of the latter group, the solution lies in automated protection software and attention to system updates recommended by manufacturers.
The Risks Of Technology
As mentioned before, this technology brings some security problems that, although not directly caused by it, derive from the interest of malicious agents in its exploitation. Below are the main points of attention, which can have considerable negative impacts if not resolved.
One of the biggest problems today with Internet of Things devices with more processing power is that they become targets for criminals looking to create vast networks of mining-oriented devices. As they do not directly affect servers, this abuse can go unnoticed for a long time, which is problematic as it can shorten the life of the equipment, impair its efficiency and leave room for malware to enter the system.
Botnet Training For DDoS Attacks
Another consequence of the excellent attractiveness of Internet of Things devices to hackers is their use to form botnets for denial-of-service attacks. Even worse than using crypto jacking, this abuse of the devices and the problems already listed can cause them to be turned against the company’s network, leading to harmful downtimes.
Organizations must be prepared for a “storm” of denial-of-service attacks. Kaspersky Lab experts estimate that in the first quarter of 2019, DDoS attacks were up by about 84% compared to the same period in 2018. Large attacks lasting more than an hour are becoming more prevalent.
Experts estimate that hackers are adopting different attack methods because companies worldwide are adopting more cybersecurity solutions and have learned to defend themselves better. It is difficult to predict whether this current wave will keep growing and for how long. However, due to the complexity noted in these attacks, there are currently no signs of cooling off.
It is recommended that organizations are effectively prepared to resist sophisticated DDoS attacks. IT resources must handle high data traffic, and organizations must adopt professional solutions to protect and mitigate these attacks.
When illegally exploited by third parties, monitoring devices can be used for espionage, compromising the integrity of the company’s security and opening space for crimes such as blackmail, sale of privileged information and even physical crimes against the company’s assets.
Access To Systems
Often, the target of attacks is not the devices but the networks they connect to. As they usually do not have the same level of security and have unresolved vulnerabilities, it is easier to exploit them to access networks and, from there, make lateral movements to critical areas for privileged data access.
Given this, it is evident that companies have much to gain from using IoT in their operations. Still, the security aspect cannot be ignored to obtain the best possible performance. Therefore, network security, monitoring and incident response solutions are intelligent options to ensure maximum operational optimization with fewer security risks.
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