Criminal cyber hackers are making significant inroads into corporate environments to conduct ransomware attacks and steal sensitive data through the use of connected smart devices. Commonly, it’s at the most innocuous access points, such as printers and conference rooms, which attackers start a devastating assault on a network database. On that same token, these inconspicuous areas of the operation are the most overlooked by corporate IT departments.
As dependence upon Internet of Things (IoT) connective devices accelerates, expect to find more unauthorized devices on your network. And with that comes an increasing supply of unsecured vulnerabilities. Just now, there are more than 10 billion IoT devices in use. According to senior executives at PCH Technologies, this figure will more than double in the next ten years as it continues to climb exponentially in the years beyond. Most experts analysts concur that current official estimates of IoT usage are considerably lower than actual figures.
Trends in remote work and threaten IT infrastructure
The ongoing COVID-19 health crisis has driven trends in hybrid work. It rendered a more dispersed workplace that relies upon remote intraoffice interconnectivity. As 5G becomes more broadly adopted by corporations, it only follows that an escalating number of highly connected IoT devices will emerge into the general environment.
In a day and age where an internet-connected device can double as a wristwatch or even a wifi-connected vending machine, IT departments face unique challenges in identifying and vetting potential cybersecurity threats. Cybersecurity specialists often fail at detecting that IoT devices are “smart,” preventing a proper analysis as to whether or not they comply with company data protection standards.
Lack of security protocol among IoT manufactures
Industry-wide, the consensus is that manufacturers of IoT devices generally fail at prioritizing device security. This absence of diligence concerning security translates into problems for IT departments who have to sort these products out as they enter the marketplace in record numbers.
Malicious hackers typically begin with devices that elude scrutiny and are more likely to remain out of security compliance. Not dissimilar to historical supply chain issues, attackers prefer to enter through an open window rather than penetrate a well-fortressed front door.
The problem with IoT devices is, not only are they hard to detect, they are frequently introduced into corporate environments by industry insiders seeking proprietary data because of their portable, low-profile features.
Indeed, IoT technologies account for some of the most powerful tools available that allow criminal hackers to evade corporate security defenses. Attackers have become so sophisticated as to install crypt-mining malware on door sensors, which is just one example of how IoT is used to exploit less than adequately secured businesses.
Access to one device leads to another
Robust IoT protection is crucial to averting catastrophic cyber incidents that display the potential to laterally move through a company’s network. Once an attacker finds access to one device, it is then very easy to subsume more critical infrastructure and gain access to highly sensitive data.
Cybersecurity teams are not entirely defenseless on this front, however. If organizations develop concise policies around IoT usage onsite, company IT staff can better focus their scope on targeting unauthorized shadow devices the instant they connect to the network.
Machine learning has proven increasingly effective in helping isolate these incidents while, at the same time, mapping normal patterns against disruptive and potentially malicious behaviors. Taking advantage of AI in such a way means reducing resource-intensive monitoring tasks so your IT and cybersecurity teams can focus on maintaining core business functions.
The broader perspective
The internal security measures of any organization necessarily command a keen focus on IoT suppliers and the threats they can potentially introduce into corporate milieus. These companies created the circumstances by which the cost of launching a successful cyberattack has fallen considerably while the volume of attacks continues to climb.
You may never be able to prevent 100% of attacks from IoT devices, but emergent cybersecurity products have started to make it more expensive for malicious hackers. The best way to deter a cybercriminal is to increase the cost and resources it takes to carry out an attack.
In recent years, corporate industrial control systems (ICS) have been exposed to a staggering increase in exposure and vulnerability because of the onslaught of discrete IoT devices coming onto the market. Even a seemingly minor strike on an ICS could have devastating consequences. This is particularly the case if your business’ infrastructure was designed before cybersecurity concerns became so prevalent.
Because the economic and insurance impacts of cyberattacks are undeniably severe, you should consider partnering with the Managed IT Support experts at PCH Technologies to protect your business today.
Call PCH Technologies at 844-754-7500 now to schedule a brief discovery call and learn how safeguarding your network against emergent IoT threats can make all the difference in winning over new clientele.