The number of Internet-enabled devices is expected to reach 20 billion by 2020, which means that our homes will soon be packed with Internet-connected devices, from smart refrigerators and coffeemakers to Barbie dolls. Smartphones will be the usual and ideal way for users to easily and easily access many of these devices, but this method will unfortunately have gaps that pave the way for the exploitation of information and security vulnerabilities of devices and smart phones.
Eset, the global leader in digital security, proactive security software and security solutions, highlights the key risks posed by the use of smart phones and devices:
Smart medical records
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Internet-connected devices such as medical devices and fitness monitors, many of which provide data to smartphones or can be controlled through applications downloaded on phones. This confirms that these phones and devices now contain important data and sensitive to our health and well-being, which may be subject to the risk of cyber attacks.
Internet solutions increasingly rely on smart devices with built-in sensors and custom applications that support the operation of these solutions. But the main problem is the lack of infrastructure to support and enhance the security and data protection capabilities of smartphones. We emphasize that the risk is no longer confined to the exploitation of medical data; we are increasingly using our phones to access online banking, buy goods through e-shopping sites, or even access public services. As a result, exploitable data is a valuable treasure for identity thieves and fraudsters.
On the other hand, the evolution of the Internet business sector will gain momentum as a result of the increasing use of Internet-connected cars and the spread of intelligent traffic management solutions, as well as the upgrading of the devices we know today such as public transportation systems. The negative component of smart navigation is that the use of GPS is an essential part of the functions of the GPS, which is an easily accessible target for hackers. For example, many users of the games exploit the system to cheat in the popular reality game ‘Pokémon Go’. We will be really scared and suspicious when imagining what Internet hackers might do when they get data about our car sites or our last subway journey, or even know we’ve never done so.
Companies may face wider risks; imagine the extent of potential damage when hackers can exploit Internet-based manufacturing networks. Where the smart manufacturing sector continues to make further progress in parallel with the ever-increasing levels of cooperation between humans and machines. Today, manufacturing processes can be linked to the Internet to enhance efficiency, diagnose problems immediately and ensure rapid response to errors; but smartphones can cause some vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
Although corporate gateways – which connect Internet devices to objects – are designed to be as secure as the ones used, but the increasing application of BYOD policies can make a big difference when accessing those networks via smart phones that lack the same Security levels.
The cities we live in are more intelligent than ever, in parallel to the evolution of life in our homes as a result of the use of Internet-connected devices. Today, specialized councils can harness massive data to help make informed decisions on application planning, energy monitoring, and even enhanced public safety and emergency response. Although this is good news, some of the data collected may be vulnerable to cyber criminals being exploited by our own smartphones. We believe that the growing levels of intelligence and advanced solutions in cities will naturally be accompanied by the use of more computer systems, and will therefore expand access to the important data collected by these systems.
On the other hand, our smartphones may contain about 25 sensors related to the use of GPS, camera, microphone, long range communication, gyroscope and other features; this is a difficult problem because most mobile applications do not require permission to access Smart phone sensors, which means that malware can secretly listen to users and steal their sensitive information.
A study conducted in 2016 indicated that high prices were the biggest hurdle for consumers seeking Internet access. 62% of respondents said they were too expensive. But falling prices and increasing numbers of connected devices will be associated with the growing importance of Internet things, and consumers should take it seriously.
Read more: An e-security solution neglected by companies may be the solution in the face of hacking