“A vulnerability in an organization’s IoT microcosm is a ‘taunt’ to exploit by malicious hackers.” — James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology
The Internet of Things (IoT) is already improving many aspects of our personal and professional lives. From smart homes to connected cars and advanced manufacturing processes, IoT offers massive savings in time and money while making the world more convenient and enjoyable for us all.
But what about security risks? As IoT continues to expand rapidly, will we be safe from cyber attacks or will hackers discover an increasing number of security vulnerabilities to exploit?
Although the Internet of Things is advancing a broad range of magnificent opportunities, security must remain at the forefront of our minds as we continue to develop and implement this technology.
Cyber risk management must be thoroughly intertwined with innovation while we accelerate IoT. As a growing amount of sensitive data is shared, the risk of exploitation increases exponentially. And the potential danger of malicious attacks could lead to catastrophic scenarios if security isn’t up to scratch. As an example, imagine the disasters that could occur if hackers were to gain control over connected vehicles?
About three years ago, two security researchers discovered vulnerabilities in the systems found in Jeep Cherokee vehicles, which allowed them to remotely control many functions of the automobile. This revelation resulted in the recall of approximately 1.4 million vehicles. And just one year later, the same security researchers found additional vulnerabilities in the Jeep Cherokee that let them accelerate the vehicle, slam on the brakes, and turn the steering wheel. Fortunately, this was not a malicious attack, so no one was injured, but it certainly illustrates the enormous dangers that will exist if hackers can achieve this same feat.
The compromise of connected cars is merely one example of the importance of IoT security. As healthcare systems, homes, and virtually every component of our society becomes connected, the lack of comprehensive security measures could lead to disastrous outcomes. From the conception of ideas all the way to implementing and maintaining this technology, it is therefore imperative to consider security throughout every step of advancing IoT to ensure a safe world for us all.
Written by Igor Ilunin, head of IoT at DataArt.