The Rise of the Internet of Things and Cyber Security

Are you exposing your company to Cyber Criminals? Let’s take a look at the “Internet of Things” or IoT and business risks.

There is a growing number of these convenience gadgets, but are they really designed to keep data safe? Well not really, IoT devices were designed with one thing in mind – “convenience”. These devices were never intended for secure communications, and their planned purpose was to just send and receive data.

4.9 Billion IoT Devices and Counting

Gartner stated that in 2015 there were around 4.9 Billion devices that were communicating with the Internet, and by 2020 there will be approximately 25 Billion more. With that amount of devices boasts an alarming risk to personal data alongside company data.

Convenience versus Vulnerability

So what do these devices do when they communicate with the internet, well they gather, and send information to make our lives more convenient, more automated and also very vulnerable. Why are these devices so vulnerable? Well, they collect data which is stored in unknown locations, and when the data is sent out, it’s not encrypted. IoTs do not have hardware ability to encrypt data as encryption requires a high volume of power. They are designed to operate on low memory, processing power and storage leading to low power usage; hence the requirement for electricity is low. This results in networks and data being left vulnerable.

Wearable and Handheld Devices

Let’s take a Fitbit for example, this device connects to your handheld device / mobile phone and communicates via Bluetooth, which then opens paths to your mobile device. Your mobile device may be used for work and most likely will have personal data on there too. Bluetooth is known for its vulnerability and Cybercriminals can sniff data passing back and forth between the paired devices.

Why you should Protect your Devices

These devices gather our purchasing patterns, our access codes, our driving habits, our browsing patterns, real-time locations and so much more; which leaves us with a predicament of our ability to collect data overcomes our ability to protect it.

The result of breaking into an IoT device can be devastating, cybercriminals can use IoTs to access company buildings, smart homes, smart cars and so forth. In addition to those breaches there a risk to private and confidential data being stolen and used. Of course, there are ways to prevent such risks, and at MMRIT we can protect your companies data and employees information/data.

Next Steps

To find out more about protecting your company devices, and identifying potential vulnerabilities, contact MMRIT. MMRIT provides a range of cyber security solutions including monitoring systems, software and application segregation and or containerisation, intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems and geofencing.

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