It’s no secret, the internet and the way we use it has changed a lot within the last few decades. Our society has become more and more dependent on the internet and there is no sign of this trend slowing down. Nevertheless, in an age in which more and more things are being done online, finding the best methods of maintaining optimal cybersecurity has become essential. That said, the following is a closer look at how the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the world of cybersecurity.
What is the IoT?
For those who are yet unfamiliar, the IoT is a term used to describe any type of device that has an on/off switch being connected to the internet. This includes everything from cell phones and TVs to parts of complex machines such as jet engines or oil rig drills. In other words, the IoT is a blanket term to describe the massive network of things that are connected via the internet. This also includes the people who help to operate and repair these devices.
Advantages of the IoT?
Although some people are naturally fearful of new concepts and technologies, there are plenty of advantages to the IoT. Some of which are as follows:
- Remote Access: One of the biggest benefits of the IoT is that it allows both business owners and homeowners the ability to control IoT devices remotely, from virtually anywhere in the world. This means they can do things such as lock doors, check appliances, turn off lights, etc. without being physically present. This is a major game-changer in terms of how businesses and properties are managed and maintained.
- Preventative Maintenance: Additionally, the IoT allows to collect data that can be used to uncover the early warning signs of potential mechanical failure. This not only saves time but it can also save money. For instance, this can allow businesses and homeowners to make more informed decisions about energy and equipment usage.
How the IoT is Changing Cybersecurity
Now that we have learned what the IoT is and why it is so important, let’s take a look at how it is changing the world of cybersecurity. In particular, given the widespread use of the IoT, hackers have more opportunities than ever to find ways to breach various networks across the globe. Additionally, hackers also have the potential to IoT devices as a part of botnet, which is a large number of computers and devices that are under one hacker’s (or one group of hackers’) control.
For instance, in January 2014, it was discovered that just one of these attacks allower hackers to seize control of over 100,000 devices such as televisions, routers, multimedia centers, and more. To make matters worse, the hacker then used the devices to send 750,000 malicious emails to companies and individuals worldwide, in just a two week time span.
Additionally, in the same year, German officials revealed that after hacking into the system of a steel manufacturer, hackers managed to cause massive physical damage to the facility by disabling one of the company’s blast furnaces. Moving forward, experts are concerned that hackers may be able to hack and control more complex pieces of machinery, such as vehicles, and being able to hijack them with the click of a button. Based on these examples alone, it should be clear why the use of the IoT has created a major need for products that help businesses and individuals maintain optimal cybersecurity.
The Future of the IoT
The widespread use of the IoT has created a time of vulnerability and extreme uncertainty. Nevertheless, there is an undeniable value and convenience of using IoT technology, as long as it can be safely implemented. For this reason, many businesses and homeowners are collaborating with their trusted IT partners to create safe solutions in a timely manner.