Cyber attacks have been much in the news recently. But it’s not just American politicians who are concerned with hacking. According to new research, UK businesses were subject to over 230,000 cyber attacks in the past year, an increase on the previous year.
And the focus of the attacks is now increasingly focused on elements of the Internet of Things – instruments attached to online networks that include home heating systems, cameras, building control systems and other household items.
According to Beaming, the first and final quarters of 2016 saw a 310 per cent increase in the volume of attacks focused on IoT devices. By the end of last year, more than 90 per cent of cyber attacks on UK businesses sought to take control of connected devices in the workplace
Business ‘punching holes in their own defences with IoT’
Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming said that the consultants can see what is happening on the internet and are taking steps to help businesses protect themselves and those they do business with. “There are many more elements involved in cybercrime than a year ago. They are launching more sophisticated attacks on UK businesses and covering their tracks carefully.”
“The majority of internet cyber attacks are computer scripts that search the web for weaknesses and probe firewalls constantly for a way in. With the Internet of Things, businesses are punching holes in their own firewalls to provide suppliers with access to devices on their networks.This can open the door to criminals too if not done properly.
“It is imperative that companies regularly review their firewall policies to ensure they are as restrictive as possible and prioritise security over convenience. Once inside, it is relatively easy for hackers to take over connected devices and lie dormant before misusing those assets as part of a bigger hack or distributed denial of service attack at a later stage.
“The cyber threat is real and it is growing. Any business that is connected to the internet needs to take responsibility for cyber security at board level and ensure they are doing everything they can to ensure they don’t expose their people, assets, customers and business partners to greater risk.A modest investment in next generation firewalls, unified threat management devices and intrusion detection makes a lot of sense for most businesses today.”