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The vulnerability of things

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There is a disconnect between business and the IT department, as most executives on the ‘business’ side don’t fully grasp the very real risks posed by today’s advanced cyber threats.
Coupled with this, the technical department too often doesn’t have the influence needed to implement vital changes in corporate thinking and spending on IT security, says Jayson O’Reilly, director of sales and innovation at DRS.

“In a few years, the number of devices that connect to the Internet will number tens of millions, with hundreds of thousands being added every hour. The Internet of Things (IoT) or Internet of everything, is seeing multiple devices that can easily bypass the firewall should the network be poorly configured, threatening the organisation.”

Moreover, O’Reilly says at the office, an increasing number of smart, connected devices are being added to the network, without any thought to their inherent security. “Printers, fax machines, copiers, telephone systems and video can be leveraged by clever attackers to spy on the network. In the past few years, we have seen multiple devices being hacked, including smart fridges, baby monitors, cars and healthcare devices.”

Unfortunately, the reality today is that businesses and governments are just not keeping up with the pace of cybercrime. “It’s pretty obvious who has the upper hand today. Businesses are being bombarded by a multitude of threats, each of which they need to defend themselves against, while cyber crooks only need to succeed once to gain access to a company’s most sensitive and valuable information,” O’Reilly says.

Despite this dire situation, he says business executives are still ignoring the danger of cyber attacks. “Stories of breaches flood the headlines on a regular basis, revealing that millions of personal accounts have been compromised, or valuable data stolen, yet business still won’t wake up to the harsh reality. While it’s easy enough to change a password on a compromised account, it is nearly impossible to change information such as your ID number and highly inconvenient to change an address or phone number should this information fall into the wrong hands.”

Unfortunately, over and over again, businesses are only looking seriously at their cyber security, following a breach, a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. “Cyber threats can and are causing havoc to businesses across the globe, both in terms of revenue, and reputation.”