IOTs: Serious cyber risks but we can secure those

IoT (Internet of Things) has made our lives comfortable, easy, smart, exciting and it has spurred innovation too. The boom of IoT in the recent past is expected to have a huge amount of monetary involvement that can surpass millions of dollars. Young entrepreneurs have been developing groundbreaking ideas that can take this innovation to a different era of technological prowess. According to the McKinsey Global Institute Research, the impact of the IOTs on the global economy could be as high as $6.2 trillion by 2025. That has prompted many companies to invest on the technology.

In this critical juncture, where technology is going to change our lives altogether, we seldom think about the protection of those IoT devices that can be compromised under any unexpected circumstances. For instance, a pair of Eastern European hackers were busted for taking partial control of the surveillance cameras in Washington DC in 2017. Since their timing was not that great, they got trapped but this gave a warning to the entire world about adequate security of IoT devices. Almost during the same time, another incident shook us where a Washington based couple was traumatized after their IOT device was hacked. The incident as reported by the Wall Street Journal, a three-year-old toddler heard petrifying voices during the night which said, “Wake up little boy, daddy’s looking for you”. The same voices were later heard by the kid’s mother. Much to the horror of the family, it was found that the family’s baby monitor was hacked by a stranger.

The incidents point us out that IoT devices are vulnerable to security challenges. As newer devices and technologies are coming up for human convenience, the hackers are simultaneously looking for vulnerabilities that they use for data accumulation. Any IoT device – be it a driverless automobile or a sensor fitted household control system, are all embedded with software. Hence, they are exposed to hacking. The crooks stealthily take hostage of the system access control and make the devices behave according to their instructions.

Moreover, these devices contain crucial data which makes them more prone to cyber attacks. The hackers looking for those sensitive data take any means to steal those data. In the near future, the abundance of IoT devices would give more options to the cyber crooks from where they can serve their purpose. According to Gartner, there will be almost 20.4 billion IoT devices in the world by 2020 These devices are not made keeping security in mind.. In order to secure those devices, it is imperative for the users to take adequate security measures. Password vaulting, strong user authentication, Identity and Access control are some of the best practices that can secure the IOT environment.

In a nutshell, life will be a lot more comfortable with such machines but the vulnerabilities associated with those devices prompts various misuses. However, we need not be techno-phobic. All we need is to ensure the safety of our devices with a proper IT security system. We need to reinforce our cyber-defenses in the best possible way.

ARCON is a leading enterprise risk control solutions provider, specializing in risk-predictive technologies. ARCON | User Behaviour Analytics enables to monitor end-user activities in real time. ARCON | Privileged Access Management reinforces access control and mitigates data breach threats. ARCON | Secure Compliance Management is a vulnerability assessment tool.

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