Despite Security Concerns, IoT Will Continue to Expand

By now you've probably heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), an interconnected network of devices embedded with software and sensors to help various technologies communicate with each other. As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless. Entrepreneurs everywhere are exploring new ways to bring IoT into the mainstream. Some of the more talked-about ideas include smart home security systems, smart manufacturing and even IoT-connected medical devices.

But amid all the excitement lurks a big problem. It turns out IoT devices are seriously lacking in security features. Hackers love IoT because it opens up hundreds, if not thousands, of new entry points for their attacks.

Despite these concerns, IoT will continue to move forward. If this is the case, businesses will need to be especially aware of the threats.

Thankfully, CyberPolicy's cybersecurity liability insurance can aid your business in the fight against cybercrime and protect you from the financial ravages of data breach.

When Bots Go Bad
One of the primary anxieties about insecure devices is their susceptibility to hacker recruitment. For example, the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that crashed the DNS provider Dyn was made possible by the Mirai botnet.

Essentially, hackers infected a large number of IoT technologies (including Wi-Fi routers and baby monitors) with remote-command malware which reported directly to the hacker. This is known as a botnet. A cybercriminal can use a botnet to flood a site or service it with phony web requests until it collapses, causing business losses due to network downtime.

Digital Eavesdroppers
Plenty of IoT technologies, such as Amazon Echo or Nest, employ voice command for ease of use. However, many researchers worry that these technologies could be used for digital eavesdropping as hackers take over microphones and listen to you when you least expect it.

This means that hackers could listen in on your private business meetings or even conversations in your home with your family. That has got to make you paranoid!

Cyber Extortion
Another fear is that hackers could lock important devices with a ransomware attack and demand payment for its release. This could cause big problems for manufacturers and healthcare facilities who rely heavily on technology to automate their processes and treat patients.

Staying Safe
Until the tech industry or federal government develops security standards for IoT devices, we are likely to see unpatched defense gaps and security breaches. Then again, there are techniques to keep your business safe while using these technologies. Here are just a few:

  • Hire an external IT team or agency to monitor your IoT devices for evidence of incursion.
  • Employ artificial intelligence defense systems to automatically flag security situations.
  • Train your staff to recognize security threats and report them through the proper channels.
  • Use webcam blockers and unplug microphones when not in use to prevent virtual eavesdropping.
  • Change default passwords on all your devices to stymie botnet recruitment.
  • Update your software regularly to patch security gaps as they are discovered by developers.

And finally, invest in cybersecurity liability insurance. CyberPolicy can help you find the right policy provider to protect your business from hefty financial damages. Don't delay, visit today!

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