Why the IoT is set to present an ‘unmanageable’ cybersecurity risk

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In its latest report, titled “Internet of Things for Security Providers: Opportunities, Strategies, & Market Leaders 2016-2021”, Juniper Research found that the consumer IoT installed base will reach over 15 billion units by 2021, which is an increase of 120% over 2016.

It also found that the recent IoT botnets will prove merely to be the tip of the cybersecurity iceberg. Botnets were uncovered as a key factor in the largest DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack ever recorded in 2016.

The report found that the use of botnets to disrupt Internet services form part of the near-term threat landscape. It predicted that botnets will be used for more malicious purposes in future, impacting consumer, industrial and public services markets.

The report urges IoT device manufacturers to implement security-by-design, adding that corporate-scale vendors such as Amazon, Google and Samsung should lead efforts to galvanise other vendors to apply security best-practices.

Moreover, it was also found that the market is wide open for challenger cybersecurity vendors. It highlighted providers such as Crossword and Positive Technologies who are using machine learning to disruptively protect against DDoS and malicious network activity.

The report further predicted that the industry will be forced to move beyond traditional signature-based detection methods in the near-term in order to address IoT cybersecurity effectively.

It isn’t a surprise to find that security scare stories are not particularly hard to come by right now. Last month, a joint study of 600 respondents conducted by the Ponemon Institute, IBM Security, and Arxan Technologies argued that 60% are aware that their organisation has suffered a security incident through an insecure mobile app. Of that number, 11% of overall respondents know with ‘certainty’, 15% opted for ‘most likely’ and 34% went with ‘likely’.

According to Dave Worrall, CTO of Secure Cloudlink, the expected growth in the IoT market will increase security risks and make organisations and people more vulnerable to hackers. He feels that passwords should not be used as a means for authentication as they are outdated and will not be able to cope with the rise of IoT.

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