Cyber Security News

The Dark Side of Connected Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the ever-growing network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items that are embedded with electronics, software, and connectivity, enabling them to connect and exchange data over the internet.

IoT devices are becoming more widespread in our daily lives, providing us with increased convenience and efficiency. However, the proliferation of IoT devices also presents new cyber security risks, particularly when it comes to application attacks.

Expanding the Application Attack Surface

What does that mean?

The term "application attack surface" refers to the sum of all the entry points into a system where an attacker can potentially exploit a vulnerability.

As the number of IoT devices increases, so do the size and complexity of the application attack surface. Each device provides a new potential point of entry into the network, creating new opportunities for attackers to compromise the system.

One of the biggest contributors to the expansion of the application attack surface is the increasing number of connected devices, such as smart home systems, wearable technology, and connected cars.

These devices are often designed for convenience and functionality rather than cybersecurity, and may not have the necessary security measures in place to protect against cyber threats.

Examples of Application Attacks on IoT Devices include:

  1. Smart Home Systems: Smart home systems, such as smart locks, smart thermostats, and smart lighting systems, can be vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks. In one well-publicised case, a hacker was able to take control of a smart home system and use it to lock a family out of their home.
  2. Wearable Technology: Wearable technology, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, can also be vulnerable to attacks. These devices often store sensitive personal information, such as health data and location information, making them attractive targets for attackers.
  3. Connected Cars: Connected cars are another example of IoT devices that are vulnerable to attacks. In one case, a hacker was able to remotely control the brakes, accelerator, and steering of a connected car, demonstrating the potential dangers of these types of attacks.

Why should you care?

As businesses become more reliant on technology and the Internet of Things, it is essential that they consider the cyber security risks posed by connected devices and the expanding application attack surface.

The consequences of a successful cyberattack on an IoT device can be severe, ranging from financial losses to damage to the company's reputation.

Business owners must factor this into their cyber security policies and take steps to minimize the risks. This may include conducting regular cybersecurity assessments, implementing strong passwords and encryption, and staying up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates.

In addition, it may be necessary to work with an it security solutions company and IoT device manufacturers to ensure that the devices in use are secure and that the application attack surface is minimised.

By taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity, businesses can protect themselves from cyber threats and ensure the continued success and growth of their operations.

For more cybersecurity tips and techniques for small to medium businesses, why not tune into the Cyber Heroes Podcast where we talk about how to protect your people and reputation, strengthen your cyber posture, create a culture of cyber savviness, and learn from the many cybercrime lessons around the world every day? And if you're a regular listener, we're glad that you have joined us for another session of cyber security training.