Will the Internet of Things Grow More Deadly in the Future?

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Will the Internet of Things Grow More Deadly in the Future?

b2ap3_thumbnail_can_internet_of_things_kill_400.jpgThe Internet of Things is on its way, and more devices are connecting to the Internet than ever before. Unfortunately, this also means that more devices are vulnerable to the threats that cybercrime poses. Some professionals believe that, despite the obvious benefits that the Internet of Things provides (i.e. big data analytics) some cyber criminals might turn to more nefarious schemes.

Europol, Europe’s criminal intelligence agency, fears that an increased rate of deadly cyber crime will be prevalent throughout the Internet of Things era, including potential deaths caused by hacking Internet-connected devices. Europol isn’t the only institution to come to this conclusion, though; US security company IID believes that 2014 will experience the first ever death caused by hacking an IoT device. If you think about it, the Internet of Things can seem pretty terrifying. With automobiles and even houses able to connect to the Internet, who knows what can happen? According to Europol, we can expect to see several new forms of cybercrime, 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.”

This is hardly the first time that this idea has been brought up. The late security researcher Barnaby Jack opened the public’s eyes what could be done by hacking a diabetic insulin pump. In 2011, he demonstrated how a hacker could infiltrate the security of the pump and inject a fatal dose into the patient’s bloodstream. Furthermore, he had also revealed before his death that it was possible to administer electric shocks via a pacemaker, all remotely. According to ZDNet, even the former US vice president Dick Cheney had his share of concerns about the concept. He had his doctors disable the wireless functionality of his own pacemaker, fearing that terrorists (or angry hunters) would attempt a hack-assassination.

This doesn’t go to say that the Internet of Things is so dangerous that it should be avoided altogether. In fact, the benefits of it are very appealing. Big data allows businesses to analyze the chunks of raw data which are collected by Internet of Things devices for application into their marketing or sales strategy. But these approaches must be taken with security and caution, and mobile Internet-connected devices must always be properly protected from online threats.

Europol is suggesting that governments prepare to investigate cyber crime like never before, and we are, too. All businesses should be prepared to look into suspicious activity on their networks, but it’s best to keep this activity from occurring in the first place, before the hackers have a chance to do any harm. To prevent a hacking attack, you need to secure your network and any devices which connect to it. As a follow up, your network should be monitored for suspicious activity at all times. No matter how powerful your security measures, something is bound to get through; but if you prepare for this instance, you can better handle the situation and destroy the threat before any real damage is done.

Resolve I.T. can do all of this and more for your business. We can equip your company with powerful security solutions and monitor your network for any out-of-place activity. We’ll neutralize threats before they become an even bigger problem, and update your systems with the appropriate patches to ensure optimal security. For more information about what Resolve I.T. can do for your business, security or otherwise, give us a call at (978) 993-8038.