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With IoT, the threats just keep on coming

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Rory Duncan, Head of Security Business Unit at Dimension Data UK&I

Rory Duncan, Head of Security Business Unit at Dimension Data UK&I

Enterprises everywhere are preparing for the rise of the Internet of Things. According to Gartner, 20.8 billion connected devices will be in use worldwide as early as 2020. But if enterprises are preparing for the explosion, the lucrative cybercrime industry is right behind – and in some cases, already ahead of them

For hackers, each of those 20.8 billion devices represents a potential end-point to exploit. Gartner goes on to predict that a black market exceeding $5 billion will exist to sell fake sensor and video data aimed at enabling criminal activity.

Innovation is at an all-time high amongst criminal organisations and it’s critical for security experts to be aware of the speed at which they are evolving. Dimension Data has teamed up with Intel Security to compile a comprehensive picture of the emerging threats that are keeping security experts on their toes.

A treacherous landscape

It’s never been easier for a novice criminal to get in on the game, with exploit kits and other automated cyberattack tools easy to obtain. And just like with any industry, there are forums on the dark web where cybercriminals can share their skills.

Ransomware has become a particularly insidious vector of attack, a form of malware that encrypts data and demands money for the decryption key. The success of CryptoLocker spawned any number of equally dangerous copycats, and extortion has skyrocketed as a result. The FBI estimates that ransomware has netted $209 million in just the first three months of 2016, and that losses could exceed $1 billion by the end of the year.

“Security needs to be proactive and move from the server room to the boardroom”

The overall picture is one of exponential growth of largescale attacks, coupled with an increase in sophistication and complexity. It’s not enough to play defence – security needs to be proactive and move from the server room to the boardroom, tackling the elements of people, processes and technology on an executive level.

It’s only a matter of time

Never has the statement that users are the weakest link been more true. This year’s NTT Group’s Global Threat Intelligence Report found that attackers were turning away from lucrative targets in the financial sector in favour of easier prey – diverse environments with large numbers of endpoints. There’s no such thing anymore as an organisation that’s safe from attack because it’s too small or obscure – hackers go where the vulnerabilities are.

The most advanced security tools in the world will fail if users are failing to practice safe cybersecurity hygiene – regularly updating and patching their software, being aware of the links they click on, and understanding the threats to every device they use, not just their laptops. As the cybersecurity battleground moves to wearables and other connected devices, it’s become imperative that this shift is reflected in user education initiatives.

It’s more important than ever for organisations to understand how to bring together policy, processes, expertise and technology for a successful, multifaceted security strategy. Engaging with security specialists like Dimension Data and Intel Security is important to get a holistic view of how these elements are working together within your security strategy.

The right solutions and partners don’t just focus on prevention; they take into account the high likelihood that you will be hacked, and focus on anticipating and reacting to breaches before they can cause damage.

Is your organisation equipped to fight back against the onslaught of cybercrime?
Visit Dimension Data’s Cybersecurity portal for more

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