IoT could be a Pandora's box - Kaspersky

Bnamericas Published: Friday, January 02, 2015

Despite the promised production and efficiency benefits of the much-hyped Internet of Things (IoT), the technology industry could be opening a can of worms by connecting so many devices to the internet, says Kaspersky Lab.

According to Dmitry Bestuzhev, the software and security vendor's research director for Latin America, the fundamental problem is that device manufacturers are launching too many products without making security a core element.

"People don't replace their domestic appliances every six months. Maybe every two to three years, depending on their budget. So these devices could go for a long time without security patches, leaving them exposed to attacks," Besthzhev told BNamericas.

"For cyber criminals, it's going to be very easy. And as these devices become cheaper and more widespread, it could be catastrophic. IoT could end up being very expensive for all of us."

IoT is expected to take center stage at the Consumer Electronics Show that kicks off in Las Vegas on January 6, when vendors will display connected cars, appliances and wearable technologies.

Large companies, such as Sony Pictures, have been unable to prevent attacks, while US retail giant Target was hacked apparently through vulnerabilities in its air conditioning system, which was connected to the network. How to address such potential vulnerabilities requires manufacturers to build security into the core of the systems.

Jacob West, CTO of HP's enterprise security products division, told BNamericas recently that the majority of attacks target the software, which does not inherently have security built into it.

Cisco Systems has forecast that IoT could represent an opportunity of US$870bn for Latin America in terms of technology sales, productivity increase and cost savings by 2022.

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