Beware the Hidden Dangers of the Internet of Things

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You Can't Secure Insecure IoT Devices

Some IoT devices, especially those that offer plug-and-play installation, can be difficult, if not impossible, to configure – especially embedded devices that need special diagnostic equipment to interface with them. In this case, the user needs to check whether (and how) the IoT device is configurable and securable. If it isn't, the user needs to think twice about purchasing it because they will be deliberately connecting an insecure IoT device to their network.

The fact that the device is a fridge (or similar household device) is unimportant. Security research has shown that fridges can be recruited into botnets and used to send spam and/or learn more about the rest of the household network for a future criminal act.

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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