IoT As a Gateway for Cyber Criminals

IoT. Image by pixabay

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Experts say 2022 may have marked an inflection point due to the rapid proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

Cyber-attacks are evolving from those that shut down computers or stole data, to include those that could more directly wreak havoc on everyday life, writes the CNBC. IoT devices can be the entry points for attacks on parts of countries’ critical infrastructure, like electrical grids or pipelines, or they can be the specific targets of criminals, as in the case of cars or medical devices that contain software.

For the past decade, manufacturers, software companies and consumers have been rushing to the promise of Internet of Things devices. Now there are an estimated 17 billion in the world, from printers to garage door openers, each one packed with software (some of it open-source software) that can be easily hacked.

IoT devices are a key entry point for many attacks, according to Microsoft’s Digital Defense Report 2022. The report reads that “while the security of IT hardware and software has strengthened in recent years, the security of Internet of Things has not kept pace.”

What many experts are anticipating is the day enterprising criminals or hackers affiliated with a nation-state figure out an easy-to-replicate scheme using IoT devices at scale. A group of criminals, perhaps connected to a foreign government, could figure out how to take control of many things at once – like cars, or medical devices.

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