Beware the Hidden Dangers of the Internet of Things

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Unknown Network Use

An independent security organization recently scanned the 900 MHz bandwidth used by IoT wireless devices and found, to their client's astonishment, that the client's building HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) was IoT-connected.

The client didn't know this, and wasn't responsible for its security. It was also identified that the HVAC devices had default passwords and very little by way of security. If a hacker had gained control of these devices, they could have caused potential business damage.

This is a good lesson learned for us all. Enterprises need to regularly, if not continuously, scan for IoT devices on their network. Enterprises ultimately need to know what is normal before they can know what isn't normal, and take remedial action as necessary.

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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