The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is revolutionizing our world.

It may also become our greatest security threat.

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The Internet of things (IoT) is one of the tech world’s most exciting and revolutionary technologies. Yet all too often, the devices created for them include little to no protection against hacking and malicious activity. The result could be one of the greatest threats yet to our national as well as personal security.

 

Background

IoT refers to Internet-connected devices which can interact with other devices or objects over a network. While connectivity was once the domain of computers, tablets and smartphones, now an untold number of appliances and devices are being given the ability to join the Internet via their own IP address.

From refrigerators, TVs and cars to baby monitors, smart locks, wearables and more, IoT is ushering in a new era of connectivity and interaction. Not just at a consumer level, but also through implementation in critical industries such as energy production, transportation and healthcare.

A recent study concluded that by 2020, the number of connected devices is expected to increase up to 50 billion. Another study went even further, suggesting that over 200 billion IoT devices will be online in the same time period. If true, that would mean an average of 6-24 devices for every person on earth, with modules and sensors constituting over 30% of every device that connects to the Internet.

Challenge

While IoT devices are clearly beneficial, most have exploitable vulnerabilities. They are not secured, and access to them is rarely restricted. As a result, traffic to smart devices cannot be easily monitored with accuracy.

Also, their built-in computing systems do not have adequate security functionality, creating the potential for anyone to remotely control them. In fact, cyber criminals and black hat hackers have already shown they can seize control with no more than an IP address. That includes access to IoT devices with cameras, which allow bad actors to see whatever the device owner is viewing.

Solution

IoT users must be vigilant as long as their devices are connected to the internet, and be made aware of the risks involved with use. Already, incidents of attacks on smart homes are on the rise, as is car hacking. Traffic light controls, healthcare services, and industrial systems are also at significant risk.

Along with effective user instruction, it is vital for manufacturers to properly secure the IoT infrastructure. Recent attacks on the Dyn DNS servers, which brought down Amazon, Twitter and Netflix, originated from Mirai botnet-infected cameras. Networks must evolve to protect these devices against malware, while also protecting application servers against attacks from infected IoT devices.

Cytellix is leading the cybersecurity field in the development of proactive monitoring, assessment and response technologies to prepare consumer and business networks — and their supply chains — for the rapid increase of IoT devices. This includes:

CYTELLIX SERVICES

  • Cybersecurity Assessments
  • Device Profiling
  • Network Leak Detection
  • Vulnerability Management
  • Real-time Cybersecurity Managed Services (SaaS)

CYTELLIX SOLUTIONS

  • Real-time Situational Awareness
  • Complete Visibility
  • Cyber Analytics
  • Vulnerability Management
  • Security Information and Event Management
 
 

Action

If you are a network owner or administrator, contact us to learn about the cybersecurity risks surrounding IoT, and steps necessary to increase monitoring and protection. We invite IoT manufacturers to partner with us for cybersecurity training, testing and development of new standards that will ensure equal protection without inhibiting creativity or growth.

Contact Us