Beware the Hidden Dangers of the Internet of Things

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Weak Entry Points

Poorly secured IoT devices on a corporate network with known, or easily guessed, passwords and passcodes are the perfect entry point for cyber criminals. If the device is a router or other kind of control or network device, then it's even better for criminals because they can modify the firewall and network services to their nefarious ends. And even if the IoT device is deemed a risk-free endpoint, for example an Internet-connected fridge, there are potential exploits because Internet-connected white goods still have susceptible functions such as sending emails.

So corporate IT departments, and consumer users, need to lock down their IoT devices, including locking down admin rights and changing default passwords, adding in as much complexity as possible. Organizations may also want to consider putting IoT devices on a firewalled, and possibly non-routable, network.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been the subject of industry analyst and tech-media excitement for just about forever. However, in 2015, it finally feels as though we are about to hit the point of no return with IoT – where all, and not just some, IT departments need to consider and address the IT management and security implications of the IoT. The IoT also impacts consumer-world behavior – with technology users needing to ensure that they understand, and fortify themselves, against the security risks associated with the IoT.

From an IT security perspective, cyber criminals must be giddy with excitement when they read that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission estimates that there are now twenty-five billion devices online, with separate research from HP stating that 70 percent of IoT devices are unsecured. Then there's the recent Apple pay-by-phone capability using biometrics and the near field communication (NFC) technology. NFC is nothing new; Juniper Research reports that 300 million NFC-enabled phones are out there already with global NFC transactions worth $50 billion.

What IoT means to cyber criminals is more opportunity to make more money. And it's not as though cyber crime is currently a small market. Europol states the "Total Global Impact of CyberCrime [has risen to] US$3 Trillion, making it more profitable than the global trade in marijuana, cocaine, and heroin combined." In this slideshow, Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid Technologies, has identified eight IoT risks that corporate IT departments, and consumer users, need to consider and address.

 

Related Topics : Blade Servers, Business Integration, Ethernet, LAN, Network Protocols

 
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