IOT and cybersecurity: tomorrow’s threats today

A growing number of devices and appliances are now getting connected to a network, and to each other, to provide additional, enhanced features. We are beginning to see some of this potential being realised and the number of connected devices is growing fast.

Cisco predicts that 50 billion new devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. Additionally, IoT connected cars are able to monitor and adapt to both internal performance quality and external environment, allowing modern cars to provide a new level of safety that was before unattainable. IoT connected factories, homes, and cities allow users to have control over their environment with voice control hubs, smart energy control, intelligent transportation systems and smart factories, to mention but a few. 

The major challenge of the IoT, however, is security and privacy. As the market size increases, hackers have an expanded surface area that includes CCTV cameras, printers, domestic boilers, smart TVs and kettles, amongst other things. The varied nature of devices that are connected to the network poses a real security threat if not addressed properly. 

Many connected devices arrives quickly to market to meet a rising demand and are lacking even basic security features such as encryption of personal data or unique passwords. This lack of in-built security, coupled with the growing number of connected devices, provides a wide attack surface for cyber criminals to operate within. Because these devices are connected, it only takes one weak link

For businesses and individuals to enjoy all that the IoT offers, security is not something that we can delegate to the “other”. Security is the responsibility of everyone, the government, the whole of the business community, and the citizen is the first line of defence.

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