Hello Dave: Are you human or machine?

22nd November 2016
Posted By : Daisy Stapley-Bunten
Hello Dave: Are you human or machine?

Cybersecurity continues to evolve but with the Internet of Things (IoT), security is not just about the safety of the device but also the network. In light of the recent massive Botnet attack on 80 major websites in the US, the ability to exploit one weak point in a network of connected things has made it easier for a hacker to steal an identity to gain access to a corporate network. 

So what does the future hold for cyber security says Ian Burns, Director at Inspired Technology, when you consider that by 2020, the world will have 24 billion connected IoT devices?

Devices that must authenticate people now have to manage machine-to-machine authentication. But manufacturers, in their haste to capitalise on the market, often pay little attention to the security of devices. Take driverless cars for example, people’s lives could be put at risk from remote hacking if security standards are not tightened.

A recent article in Wired Magazine demonstrated just how easy it was for two hackers to live hack a Jeep being driven by the author of the article. Even something as innocuous as the automatic tyre pressure monitoring system, mandatory on cars built after 2014, contains a staggering 12,000 lines of codes. What happens if it goes wrong at 70mph?

If the risk of connected devices is great, so why do we connect them in the first place? Remote monitoring across many industries is a huge benefit for companies. Samsung has partnered with Unilever on a Smart fridge so it won’t be long before they’ll know exactly what’s inside your fridge.

One of the issues of all this connectivity is the challenge of this information creating excessive amounts of data to process. When it comes to security, all of this data needs to be contextualised, made even more challenging when you have to develop mechanisms to differentiate between people and machines.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a security business discipline which, in simple terms, is another way of identifying an individual and their relationships with something. For this to work, you need to be able to understand the relationship between people and things, and devices need to be taught how to understand these relationships.

For businesses, it’s important to be able to balance the safeguarding of sensitive data with providing access to information and resources across your organisation’s technological environments. IAM solutions are specifically designed to do just that and allow you to measure and monitor risks inherent in a system.

Furthermore, our interconnectedness highlights the need for industry-led security standards, or even ratings, for IoT devices. This would be one way to show the security-readiness of IoT devices.

With more and more devices internet connected, it is inevitable that hackers and cyber criminals will have an increasing number of ways to break in. As we stand at a tipping point in the digital era, we must ensure that we don’t open the door to even more malicious cyber-attacks.


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