In an age where smart technologies like internet, hotspot, and other internet-of-things (IoT) has penetrated every sphere of life, security is getting compromised. Despite the several advantages that smart technologies and IoT have offered, there are still loopholes which result in a possible cyber attack resulting in vast damage to property and life. In this backdrop, the technologies need to be adopted with adequate security systems in the entire ecosystem to eliminate chances of hacking.
Expanding IoT network
Over the last few years, the deployment of smart technologies has grown tremendously. Their adoption is not just limited to our office spaces but has made our life simpler by making complex procedures easier. For instance, medical devices and equipment connected to the internet are increasingly being adopted. These devices have altered the life of patients. The facility of gauging the health statistics at home without the need of having a doctor has improved wellbeing. Besides the healthcare segment, other IoT devices are being adopted in the financial, infrastructure and many other sectors. For instance, the geosynchronous information system is used to survey the mining areas and get accurate data about the potential mines.
Off lately, many incidences of cyber attacks on IoT devices are coming to the fore which highlights the risk involved in using smart technologies. One such incident was recently reported in Los Angeles where cyberattack stopped the printing of newspapers of one of the leading publishing houses -The Los Angeles Times. Computer malware attacks on the information technology system have also crippled infrastructure facilities such as power plants. Besides, the healthcare industry is also vulnerable to these attacks as IoT medical devices which are connected to the network have low resilience to cyber attacks. Medicals devices and implants such as cardiac pacemakers and infusion pumps can have severe effects on health if tampered by hackers. The risk of cyber attacks is such that it can disrupt the working of a hospital by destroying the entire information technology system. One such attack was the wanna cry ransomware which crippled the entire IT network of the hospital bringing the system down for weeks.
In wake of the many instances of cyber attacks, preparing for a likely attack and creating a framework against these attacks is essential. Some of the measures that can be taken to avoid hacking of IoT devices is-:
Encryption: Encryption of healthcare data is the key to eliminate the chance of data invasion by a hacker. This can be done by using firewall software. Through encrypting the data is translated into codes and other languages that are not understandable to a third party and is only accessible to the one who has the password to the secured file.
Setting strong passwords: The strength of the password also needs to be strong as this will make it difficult for the hacker to invade the system. Passwords must be set using a combination of letters, numbers, words and special characters.
Risks associated with cyber attacks are too great to ignore and there for adopting IOT into regular processes adequate measures need to be taken. Simple steps of limiting the footprint of data, using firewall protection software, among other measures can be followed. Lastly, the awareness of possible threats needs to be created to avoid any negligence.