Kaspars Iesalnieks, “KPMG” IT Consultation Manager

 

Internet of Things (IoT) is based on the ability of devices we use every day to mutually communicate and to improve our lives, by allowing savings on both time and money. Starting from smart houses that await the owner with open garage doors, to smart cities that adapt traffic signals to traffic flow.

 

It is estimated that by 2020 around 20 billion devices will be connected. The amount of devices that companies use for their needs will triple. And it is already currently expected that each fourth cyberattack at an organisation will specifically be connected to the Internet of Things. According to the data from the research performed by Aruba Networks — The Internet of Things: Today & Tomorrow in 2017, more than half of the large companies in the world indicate that they have already implemented Internet of Things solutions.

 

At the same time 84% of companies have already experienced security breaches related to these solutions. In many cases companies focus on the functions of an IoT device, which is basically the tip of the iceberg. Quite often, compatibility with the internet is the weakest link in the security chain. With this high-end device connectivity that uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile network, more possibilities for malicious cyberattacks arise – increasing the chances of a hacker being able to access basically any device connected to the network through a vulnerable link.

 

To avoid these bad security breach statistics, an IT infrastructure home task has to performed, and it is also crucial to ensure regular IT ‘ecosystem’ health checks.

 

Firstly, when choosing the device to be connected to smart devices, its origin must be evaluated, to at least ascertain how reliable the manufacturer is, and whether the device complies with security regulation standards.

 

Secondly, appropriate and safe configuration must be performed, meaning that it is necessary to check whether it is compatible with other devices, and safe from intrusions from the “outside world.” In other words, care should be taken regarding cyber hygiene, for example, set up a safe password, use safe network protocols, regular system updates should be performed and appropriate access rights should be configured.

 

Thirdly, it would be useful to test whether the home task has been performed sufficiently and the security measures work.

 

According to the recently published largest IT management survey in the world, performed by Harvey Nash and KPMG, companies are thinking about it. Namely, this year almost a quarter (23 %) more respondents have put forward improvements in cybersecurity as a priority than in 2017, because cybercrimes have reached a very high level; moreover, operational risk management and compliance (12 %) have become an important element. These two areas are defined by company management as the most significant IT priorities.

 

Visit the RIGA COMM 2018 Internet of Things Conference on 12 October to find out more. The conference will be held in English.

 

Follow the news of the conference at: www.facebook.com/events/1958735187699138/