Tuesday, 24 January 2017 22:30

IoT expansion, connectivity poses ‘unmanageable’ security risks: Juniper Featured

IoT expansion, connectivity poses ‘unmanageable’ security risks: Juniper Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the scale of global connectivity could lead to an “unmanageable cybersecurity risk” created by botnets in excess of a million units, according to new data from Juniper Research.

In the new research just released, Juniper cautions that the vast scale of this connectivity will lead to these problems unless action is taken, with its research finding that the consumer IoT installed base will reach more than 15 billion units by 2021, an increase of 120% over 2016.

And Juniper says that recent IoT botnets will prove merely to be the “tip of the cyber security iceberg”, with botnets uncovered as a key factor in the largest DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack ever, recorded last year.

The report found that the use of botnets to disrupt Internet services form part of the near-term threat landscape and predicted that botnets would be used for more malicious purposes in future, impacting consumer, industrial and public services markets.

“Attacks such as those on Dyn last October can be viewed as proof of concepts”, noted research author Steffen Sorrell.

“In the medium-term, botnets will be used far more creatively – not only to disrupt services, but also to create a distraction enabling multi-pronged attacks aimed at data theft or physical asset disruption.”

The Juniper research report called on IoT device manufacturers to “take responsibility” by implementing security-by-design, adding that corporate-scale vendors such as Amazon, Google and Samsung should lead efforts to galvanise other vendors to apply security best-practices.

Additionally, the research found that the market is wide open for challenger cyber security vendors.

Sorrell said it highlighted providers such as Crossword and Positive Technologies who are using machine learning to disruptively protect against DDoS and malicious network activity.

It also predicted that the industry would be forced to move beyond traditional signature-based detection methods in the near-term in order to address IoT cyber security effectively.

The whitepaper — IoT – Internet of Transformation — and the full research report are available to download from the Juniper website.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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