IoT (Internet of Things) devices are being deployed in every industry to drive operational efficiencies and generate cost savings. The escalating use of these devices introduces a growing attack surface and increases enterprise exposure to security risks and vulnerabilities.
Industries across the globe from transportation to medical to manufacturing to utilities are innovating with IoT technology. According to Statista, global spending on IoT is expected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2022 and Gartner forecasted that the enterprise and automotive IoT market will reach 5.8 billion endpoints this year, a 21% increase from 2019.
The growing ecosystem of connected devices and the rise of the smart enterprise is creating a robust environment for cyber criminals to wreak havoc in organizations. These unmanaged IoT devices are riddled with vulnerabilities from the start, opening the door to network attacks, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and radio frequency jamming.
Despite the security risks, companies are forging ahead with deployments of IoT devices in blended IT and OT systems. A study by Deloitte found that while 48% of respondents said they are integrating connected devices and products into their organization; many enterprises are unprepared to secure IoT devices. The report cited ten security risks commonly found in IoT environments including not having a security and privacy program, security not being incorporated into the design of products and ecosystems, lack of IoT/IIoT and product security and privacy resources, insufficient monitoring of devices and systems to detect security events, and inexperienced/immature incident-response processes.
These security weaknesses in the IoT environment expose enterprises to an alarmingly high level of security, privacy, and compliance risks. A 2018 CEB, now Gartner, survey found that nearly 20% percent of organizations experienced at least one IoT-based attack in the past three years. This number will likely surge with the increasing proliferation of IoT deployments.
The utility industry is one sector increasing the use of IoT endpoints. Gartner expects this industry’s deployment of IoT to reach 1.37 billion endpoints this year. Cyber threats will increase right along with this IoT expansion. KPMG highlighted an example of such threats in a report on managing IoT risk in power and utilities saying: “if 10,000 customers on a grid have smart meters, that’s 10,000 potential entry points to hack the system, introduce malware or perpetrate other threats.” The report also noted that “according to U.S. intelligence agencies and technology executives, foreign hackers are now even more focused on proving they can disrupt the U.S. power grid than on disrupting elections.”
Other industries, too, are facing rising threats from accelerated IoT digital transformation. Sea ports face data vulnerability that can result in unauthorized access to and theft of data as well as loss of information control.
The food and beverage industry is another industry facing growing exposure to cyberattacks. A report by University of Minnesota researchers warned of mounting cybersecurity risk facing the food industry. Potential consequences of a cyberattack on the industrial control systems used in the food industry include “contaminated food that threatens public health, physical harm to workers, destroyed equipment, environmental damage, and massive financial losses for companies.”
Also at risk are healthcare companies that are connecting the latest diagnostic sensors and buying diagnostic centers and physicians practices – many of which have immature cyber security practices.
A growing number of smart building and smart city initiatives mean that thousands of sensors are becoming connected, and many of these applications have paths to core enterprise networks. Smart buildings are an especially attractive target for IoT attacks because cyber criminals are able to maximize damage and profit with minimal effort.
The accelerating adoption of IoT across industries requires new cybersecurity strategies that deliver comprehensive, 24/7 cyber protection, proactively hunting, isolating, and protecting against malicious behavior.
This is right in Blackpoint’s wheelhouse. Our SNAP-Defense Security Operations & Incident Response Platform reduces enterprise security stack while delivering real-time threat alerts and immediate response with the click of a button. SNAP-Defense provides lateral spread protection for core enterprise networks and IoT applications.
Our Networked Industrial Control Operations Security (NICOS) module addresses the growing trend of convergence between IT and IoT networks and when paired with SNAP-Defense, provides the first truly integrated IT/IoT threat detection and response platform, capable of detecting and stopping both IT and IoT attacks as well as those that cross the boundary. The best aspect of all this is that our team offers 24/7 monitoring, detection, and response as a service – so we do all the work, and you can focus on the other important aspects of running your organization.
Enterprises are moving fast in their digital transformation. Blackpoint Cyber moves even faster with SNAP’s speed-of-defense to rapidly detect and block cyber attackers, protecting companies from security threats of blended IT, OT, and IoT systems.