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With the number of connected devices now likely exceeding the human population of Earth, the IoT is already nearly inescapable.* Millions of connected devices have already been compromised to be used a part of the Mirai botnet. Many consumers aren’t aware of inherent risks of their connected devices and that manufacturers often rush products to market without considering basic security requirements and settings.
“This situation could create an even more frightening scenario than the UK tabloid newspapers' ‘phone hacking’ scandal, due to a massive adoption of insecure IoT devices,” the report states.
Even as millions of new connected devices come online every day, consumers are still generally aware that their new “smart” appliances will go online. But the lust for consumer data could change that in the future.
“Eventually almost every household device will be online, and they will largely be invisible to the end user as a smart device,” Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer of F-Secure, says in the report. “They will look like dumb devices, but they will be smart devices though they won’t offer any features to the consumer because the real reason for them to be online will be for them to report home and report analytics to the company that built the device.”
Already it’s difficult to find any model of some devices, such as televisions, that do not connect to the internet.
The laws of supply and demand have not yet yielded an IoT that’s built for the future. If consumers aren’t demanding security, manufacturers will never prioritise it. But given the extraordinary dependency society is likely to develop on billions of IoT devices, governments may have to step in to demand security requirements.
In the report, Michael Barton, the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary said: “There needs to be regulation but I'm fighting shy of heavy regulation here. You can't sell toys with pins in them so that children are blinded. You can't sell cars where the brakes work intermittently. Nor should you be able to sell something on the IoT that allows people's bank accounts to be emptied.”
In addition to educating consumers about the risks of existing IoT devices as the U.S. appears ready to do**, governments also need to address the quality of technology being put in consumers’ hands and homes, the report finds. Product manufacturers should be regulated to ensure that products that come to market are not lacking in security or privacy measures.
Nobody has better visibility into real-life cyber attacks than F-Secure. We’re closing the gap between detection and response, utilizing the unmatched threat intelligence of hundreds of our industry’s best technical consultants, millions of devices running our award-winning software, and ceaseless innovations in artificial intelligence. Top banks, airlines, and enterprises trust our commitment to beating the world’s most potent threats. Together with our network of the top channel partners and over 200 service providers, we’re on a mission to make sure everyone has the enterprise-grade cyber security we all need.
Founded in 1988, F-Secure is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.
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