How is IoT opening the door for massive cyberattacks?

Share this Article!

The Internet of Things (IoT) is proving to be a real game changer in terms of the sheer volumes and variety of data we can now collect. Gartner has forecasted that 14.2 billion connected things will be in use in 2019, and that the total will reach 25 billion by 2021, all producing immense volume of data.

While there are a myriad of benefits to the insights and control that these vast armies of “things” can give us, there is also a significant downside. IoT is a key contributor to what the Ponemon Institute have identified as the IT Security Gap.

In their 2018 survey conducted in partnership with HPE Aruba, 67% of respondents say this gap is caused by a lack of visibility into and control over all the new devices and users connected to their organisation’s IT infrastructure. Most worryingly, this global survey of IT security professionals revealed that 66 percent of respondents say their organisation has no, or a low ability, to secure their IoT devices and apps.

What makes IoT devices so difficult to secure and such an easy target for criminals? Many IoT devices keep their out of the box credentials, which makes it easy to simply:

● find them using a search engine for internet-connected devices
● access them with default credentials
● conduct brute-force attacks to compromise them
● infect them with malware

Once compromised, these IoT devices become cost-effective and stable botnet ready to join an army. They’re then used to swarm a network with massive amounts of traffic in what’s known as a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. In one of the largest ever DDoS attacks, an investigation uncovered around 50,000 unique IPs which hosted infected devices which were mostly CCTV cameras—a popular choice of DDoS attackers.

As IT security teams fight the battle to maintain control of their fast growing network, they need the right set of tools to quickly program the underlying infrastructure and control network access for any IoT and mobile device – known and unknown. Today’s network access security solutions must deliver enhanced threat protection and an improved user experience. This starts with a three-step plan:

Identify what devices are being used, how many, where they’re connecting from, and which operating systems are supported – this provides the foundation of visibility.

Enforce accurate policies that provide proper user and device access, regardless of the device type or location – this provides an expected user experience.

Protect resources via dynamic policy controls and real-time threat remediation that extends to third-party systems.

Aruba ClearPass solves these challenges by delivering device identity, policy control, workflow automation and automated threat protect from a single cohesive solution. By capturing and correlating real-time contextual data, ClearPass enables organisations to define policies that work in any environment.

ClearPass enhancements also handle emerging network security challenges surrounding the adoption of IoT, stronger mobile device and app authentication and deeper visibility into security incidents. Automated threat protection and intelligent service features ensure that each device is accurately given network access privileges with minimal hands-on IT interaction.

About the author

As the Managing Director of Aryon, my team and I are here to reduce the complexity for organisations who want to take advantage of next-generation networks, infrastructure and workforce technology. If you would like to discuss how your organisation can take advantage of new digital networks, infrastructure and technology without the added stress, please feel free to get in touch with me at dean.bartlett@

Share this Article!