DDoS Attacks Will Do More Than Tickle The Internet Of Things’ Soft Underbelly

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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Nexusguard’s 2015 Internet Security Trend report reveals DDoS assaults on the Internet of Things will cost businesses millions of pounds

The Internet of Things’ (IoT) soft underbelly is placing it firmly in cyber criminals’ firing line, and businesses can expect their IoT infrastructure to experience increasing DDoS attacks, according to a 2015 Internet Security Trend report by security solutions provider Nexusguard.

As the Internet continues to be a growing presence in our digital lives, infiltrating everyday devices like home security systems, TVs, medical device, GPS and smart watches, the potential attack surface for DDoS attacks, sometimes combined with infiltration attempts, is growing exponentially.

Limited options

Terrence Gareau, chief scientist, Nexusguard, said: “By its very design, IoT is built with lightweight security. These devices rely heavily on shared libraries and a rapid development cycle. Because of their constraints, many IoT devices have limited options for firmware upgrades and other risk management features. The fact that they are also ‘always-online’ makes them highly susceptible to intrusion and attacks.”

Internet of Things fridgeWith IoT, people are posting personal or commercially sensitive information, he added. “It’s a very complex question how people are going to secure that data, especially with increasingly sophisticated attacks,” he explained. “Furthermore, hackers may be incentivised to infect IoT devices and use them as an army for botnet attacks. Additionally, the smokescreen of DDoS attacks used for covering up data exfiltration, market manipulation and extortion, are ever more present.”

Bill Barry, executive VP, Nexusguard, said: “A single attack can cost an organisation from $52,000 to $52m from the loss of contracts, damage to reputation, damage to stock price, damage to credit rating and increased insurance premiums. With an ecosystem of still-developing protocols, a mass attack could be devastating to an individual user or an entire enterprise.”

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