3 Big Security Threats with Increasing Connectivity
With projected market revenue of $1.7 trillion by 2020, as estimated by the Wall Street Journal in 2015, the Internet of Things (IoT) stands to forever change the world as we know it. Leaders can create a vertical-driven strategy that produces positive and proactive business outcomes but strategy won’t take business far, if it doesn’t explicitly address the unique security threats that are inherent to the increased level of connectivity.
These kinds of threats aren’t easy to identify or mitigate, which is exactly why nearly 60 percent of companies say they plan to “eventually” implement the IoT (i.e. once security no longer concerns them) and why nearly 30 percent have no plans to implement the IoT at all as suggested by Gartner, but this is likely to change quickly.
With the number of connected “things” growing, it is expected that more hackers will feed off the evergrowing possibilities to attack, threaten and compromise business. Consider the recent IoT-driven DDoS attack on Internet performance company Dyn, which disrupted websites like PayPal, Spotify and Twitter. As reported by the Washington Post in October 2016, Dyn’s Chief Strategy Officer admitted that some of the traffic that attacked the company came from compromised IoT devices.
3 IoT security threats to address
Personally-owned devices: Research by Gartner shows that about 40 percent of US employees at large enter- prises bring their own device(s) to work, and 75 percent of companies, as estimated by Technoproresearch currently permit or plan to permit BYOD in the workplace. Today, there’s a clear need among businesses to securely connect these personally-owned devices that simultaneously perform multiple functions and connect to public, private and hybrid clouds. It may be easy to secure enterprise IoT, but this gets a lot trickier when companies factor in the devices employees are using on their network. Just consider the 10 million Android devices that were infected this summer with Chinese malware. My suggestion: There is a need to implement some sort of malware detection mechanism and deliver some level of automation that can quickly detect abnormalities on employee devices and prevent them from spreading.
Open APIs: An open API model is advantageous in that it allows developers outside of companies to easily access and use APIs to create breakthrough innovations. At the same time, however, publicly available APIs are also exposed ones. Promoting openness means anyone can write new APIs (which is a good thing), but that can cause some challenges in the market. If an organization has undocumented features of its API, for instance, or if someone is rolling out an API and doesn’t have it properly documented or controlled, hackers can potentially take advantage. At the end of the day, businesses must be cautious as to what is being exposed and documented when writing APIs.
Influx of Data: The amount of data being gathered from today’s evergrowing number of connected “things” is simply astounding. In fact, a BBC research shows that about 90 percent of all data