With the rise of emerging technology, unforeseen security challenges can appear. As 5G becomes ubiquitous, it’s the machines that need to be protected from human beings. That’s because cybercriminals, hacktivists and industrial spies have set their sights on IoT devices as a massive attack surface for denial-of-service (DoS) strikes, data theft and even global disruption.
If you’re a communications service provider reading this, maybe you’re thinking “I’m glad that I’m not responsible for securing all those IoT devices.” But you are. If service providers wish to monetize IoT communications, they’ll need to wrap security around those communications. It’s a big task, compounded by the fact that most IoT devices will be so small that they’ll have no built-in security of their own. The stakes for service providers, however, are too high to ignore: personal data, mission-critical applications and even national security are all at risk from IoT-based attacks.
Okay, now take a deep breath: You don’t need to solve all these problems today — the IoT revolution isn’t here yet. But you do need to be thinking about IoT security right now, studying the potential attack surface of new applications (e.g., telehealth services, connected cars) and developing strategies to mitigate the unknown unknowns that will invariably arise as new IoT applications are created and launched.
What will this new attack surface look like? Let’s dig deeper into a few high-profile IoT applications to understand the potential security risks.