With the Internet of Things connecting more devices to the Internet, these devices can potentially be turned to nefarious use. Despite all of the benefits of the Internet of Things, like big data analytics, anything connected to the Internet is threatened by cyber crime to at least some degree. In fact, some professionals believe that the Internet of Things will usher in an era of new types of cyber crime; murder included.
Europol, Europe’s crime intelligence agency, believes that the Internet of Things era will be dominated by new types of hacking attacks, including the potential death caused by Internet-connected devices. Even the US security company IID understands the risks associated with the Internet of Things, and they believe that 2014 might experience the first death caused by an IoT hack. It’s not that surprising, given the nature of the Internet of Things. Houses and automobiles that can be controlled remotely or with an internal device could potentially be hacked. According to Europol, new types of cybercrime can emerge, including “new forms of blackmail and extortion schemes (e.g. ransomware for smart cars or smart homes), data theft, physical injury and possible death, and new types of botnets.”
Barnaby Jack, a late security researcher with an epic name, has brought up this idea in the past. In 2011, he displayed that it was possible to hack into an Internet-connected insulin pump. He showed the world that hackers could infiltrate the pump and administer a fatal dose of insulin into the patient’s bloodstream. Before his untimely death, he was also working on showing the world that hacking into pacemakers and causing electric shocks wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility. In fact, according to ZDNet, former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney was so scared of possible assassinations that he had the wireless functionality disabled on his own pacemaker. Talk about the hunter becoming the hunted, huh?
All of this doom and gloom doesn’t aim to discourage you from the Internet of Things, but it is meant to show how dangerous unsecured wireless devices can be. With proper precautions, you can reap the benefits of big data analytics (i.e. analyzing chunks of raw data for trends, and using them in your marketing strategy). The important thing is that these techniques should be taken cautiously, and businesses should utilize security solutions to keep this information and these devices safe from a possible hacking.
Europol suggests that world governments will need to adapt to these changes in technology and prepare to investigate claims of cyber crime. We agree; your business should be prepared to look into any activity which could be called suspicious or concerning on your network. While it’s ideal to keep suspicious activity off of your networks in the first place, sometimes it’s inevitable. The important thing to remember is that the hacking attack must be stopped before irreparable damage takes place. Secure your network and any devices used by the company, and monitor your network at all times. You want to know as soon as possible when an attack is happening.
SemTech IT Solutions can help your business take all of these precautions. We can equip your business with powerful security tools and monitor your network for suspicious traffic. We can even detect and destroy threats before they affect your business, and provide your systems with necessary patches to optimize network security. For more information on what SemTech IT Solutions can do for your business, give us a call at 407-830-1434.