On the Sixth Day of Christmas, the Industry Predicted…a Big Year for IoT

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The run up to Christmas is in full swing and we’ll be ushering in a new year in no time at all. So as we bid farewell to 2016 and a very busy 12 months for the cybersecurity world with a plethora of breaches and incidents making the headlines across the globe, what are the experts predicting about what we can expect to come up against in 2017?

It seems as though the Internet of Things (IoT) is a topic keeping the minds of a lot of specialists busy, with numerous experts predicting it to play a major role next year.

Experts from Bitdefender think we will see a marked rise in IoT attacks against individuals and companies alike, continuing trouble with encrypting ransomware, IoT botnets, adware and the revival of darknet markets for illegal goods and services.

Penetration of IoT devices in industry will grow, and so will the threats posed to security by their uncontrolled deployment and use, the firm said. Personal IoT devices will also increasingly get carried across physical and logical security boundaries by employees, compounding the issues.

As the market of smart devices increases, the population of legacy devices which remain unpatched and thus vulnerable "forever" will only grow itself. This creates the possibility of crossover threats. What’s more, users do not have good security habits when it comes to their smart devices – 42% of smarthome dwellers surveyed for Bitdefender claimed they never update their smart TVs, for example, claiming ‘lack of time’ as the foremost reason, closely followed by ‘lack of know-how’.

"We estimate that starting with 2017 the Internet of Things will be slowly replaced with the Internet of Threats" warned Bitdefender’s chief security Strategist Catalin Cosoi.

However, whilst IoT looks sure to plague the safety of our data next year with the potential to shut down the internet – something that we saw in the DYN DDoS attack earlier in 2016 – LANDESK’s VP of engineering Rob Juncker thinks 2017 will be the year we start to see new, structured steps being taken to focus on hardening defenses against IoT threats.

“The whole DYN attack was nothing more than a Decoy for an attack that will dominate the news for 2017,” he added. “In the wake of this, we’re going to re-evaluate the role of key protocols like DNS and come up with resilient ways to pave the passageways of the internet and plumb their pathways.”

This is an opinion shared by Quentyn Taylor, director of EMEA information security at Canon, who told Infosecurity he expects to see the conceptual foundations of a new IoT legislation laid next year, for introduction in early 2019.

“Smart technology has reached such a high level of adoption that it’s likely we will see a call for IoT legislation,” he argued. “Sadly no consumer ever bought a product based on how secure it can be, therefore legislation will be needed to protect consumers. The industry must look at how security should be adapted and guidelines introduced to ensure this increase in IoT is properly regulated. This will be crucial to ensuring security is made a fundamental part of all future IoT products by the industries own hand and not enforced by legislation."

We only have to see the recent attacks on the internet with the Mirai botnet to realize the threat Christmas 2016 will bring, with its rafts of internet connected toys, he continued.

“In fact, spare a thought for the poor hackers who instead of opening up their Christmas presents, will be busy hacking your internet connected presents come Christmas morning.”

>> On the First Day of Christmas, the Industry Predicted...More Ransomware

>> On the Second Day of Christmas, the Industry Predicted…Poor Routine IT Practices

>> On the Third Day of Christmas, the Industry Predicted…More Political Disruption

>> On the Fourth Day of Christmas, the Industry Predicted…CIOs to Reclaim Ownership of Data Initiatives

>> On the Fifth Day of Christmas, the Industry Predicted…More Social Media Attacks

>>On the Seventh Day of Christmas, the Industry Predicted…More Mention of AI

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