Assessing three pressing cyber threats for IoT in 2018

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Every year we see new pressing cyber threats, from new targets for hackers to new issues cropping up in the cybersecurity space. 2018 will be no different. One area that has recently got a lot of attention is IoT devices, as the use of such devices has increased in both the public and private sectors. Here at Silobreaker we are keen to highlight three pressing cyber threats to IoT devices that we believe enterprises need to be aware of:

Industrial take-downs

By 2020 it is expected that 25% of cyber-attacks will target IoT devices, many of which will be deployed in industrial environments. Infection and covert usage of IoT devices to mine cryptocurrencies or conduct DDoS attacks is a trend that isn’t slowing down, and one that is especially problematic in the industrial space because Industrial IoT devices tend to be both poorly secured and difficult to patch, especially across a distributed environment such as manufacturing.

It’s true that Mirai, and variants such as Okiru and Satori, pose a major risk to manufacturing, where the reduction of a connected device’s processing power can seriously impact safety or disrupt processes. But there is also the potential for untargeted, collateral damage in this space. The prospect of motivated attackers leveraging destructive malware such as BrickerBot to wipe devices is highly concerning, but such ‘attacks’ need not even be targeted to cause damage. A wormable exploit such as the one used by WannaCry could cause widespread infection of industrial IoT devices –  to devastating effect – quite regardless of the original intentions of the attacker. We expect to see a major event of this kind take place in 2018.

Bringing in the professionals

Another pressing threat for 2018 is a dearth of skills and resources. Humans are still the weakest link in the security chain, but hiring and training people who can understand and respond to issues in the threat space is only becoming more difficult. Demand is rising much faster than supply, with 3.5 million unfilled positions in the cyber security field expected by 2021. At the same time, the eternal catch-up game played between criminals and analysts continues, with threats becoming more sophisticated and widespread every day.

As we further integrate IoT technology into our lives and into sectors such as manufacturing and critical infrastructure, this problem is not going to go away – it is going to get worse. The skills we need to protect ourselves: analysing information, separating intelligence from noise, and understanding the motivations of threat actors, are in short supply. They need to be cultivated. And to some extent this is happening; we’re simply not doing it fast enough. If this skills gap widens too fast, and too quickly, it won’t matter how much companies are willing to pay to fill these vital positions; we will all become victims.

To mitigate this issue, we need to put more effort than ever into hiring, training and retaining the next generation of cyber security experts. Information security is increasingly being viewed as more than an IT-only problem, which is a big step, but budgets don’t always scale with intentions. Yes, working to improve the “cyber hygiene” of employees is important, but no organisation is unbreachable. And we need many more skilled people if we want to be prepared for when the worst happens.

The most tantalising treasure is data

Theft and manipulation of personal information from IoT devices is a growing concern for 2018. With IoT machines becoming ever more popular with consumers, we need to come to terms with the idea that our personal information is more at risk than ever. Devices such as Amazon’s Echo and other virtual assistants allow us to (often unwittingly) sacrifice convenience for security – as we learned when a researcher used malware to stream audio to a remote server. Or when a Bluetooth vulnerability rendered Echo, Google Home and billions of other devices vulnerable to hijacking. We don’t know all the potential methods by which our personal information – what we say and do in our own homes – can be used against us, because having one’s personal life potentially exposed in this way is brand new. Identity theft and the resale of shopping habits are all perfectly possible, but this data can also enable crime in the physical world. If you’ve suddenly stopped ordering your weekly groceries, maybe there’s nobody at home? Assuming such information can be accessed, it will certainly be sold.

Mitigating data theft from devices like Echo is both a manufacturer issue and a consumer one. The more these devices are sold and used, the more attractive targeting them becomes for criminals. At the same time, the longer consumers wait before purchasing, the more tried and tested (and secure) this technology becomes. Purchasing from quality vendors will also reduce the risk of security ‘oversights’ and make sure that vulnerabilities are patched. Fundamentally, it also comes back to the very personal question of convenience versus security; to what extent are the risks worth the rewards? Caveat emptor. Latest from the homepage

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Dubai Announces Accelerator to Solve the 21st Century’s Most Pressing Challenges

A Hub of Ideas

Dubai is already leading the world in a number of innovative concepts—they have plans for a Hyperloop system, a robot police forcea store that changes shape , self-driving electric vehiclesflying taxisa space agency that will work towards getting people to Mars…and this is just the beginning.

Now, it’s looking to continue that trend through a unique and innovative program that gathers the world’s industry leaders with key figures in government in order to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

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The Dubai Future Accelerators is an intensive nine-week program that aims to connect the most innovative companies with partners in the government in order to bring to life viable futuristic prototypes at a city-wide scale. Their goal is to actually test the technologies that could be the solutions to some of the challenges that plague modern society. “Our mission is to imagine, design and create the future by facilitating partnerships between forward-thinking entrepreneurs and the government using the city of Dubai as a living testbed,” the program’s website notes.

For the program, they are focusing on seven key opportunities of the 21st century. “This includes the application of cutting edge technologies like AI and robotics, genomics, 3D printing, distributed ledgers, biomimicry, and biotechnology, as well as new business models and ways of working,” notes the program’s organizer, the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF). Together, these focal points represent the most pressing sectors that could accelerate society into a new age of efficiency, productivity, and abundance.

Together, these focal points represent the most pressing sectors that could accelerate society into a new age of efficiency, productivity, and abundance. Each of the seven sectors act as umbrellas, housing a number of opportunities for innovation beneath them.

Applications for the third run of the program, which will go from October 1 to November 29, are already open. Interested companies have to be familiar with the challenges defined by the DFF’s government partners and then choose one they’d like to focus on before filling out the application form.

The challenges come from a number of Dubai’s government offices, including the Roads and Transport Authority, the Dubai Police, the city’s Health Authority, and the Department of Economic Development.

A City of the Future

In the official release, Maha Khamis Al Mazeina, Project Manager at Dubai Future Foundation, noted that the program is really all about setting a course and tone for the future: “The Dubai Future Accelerators program embodies the strategies set by the UAE as the country aims to lead the global charge to build the future, focusing on the strategic sectors that most affect people’s lives in the UAE and abroad.”

To that extent, the program is doing a lot more than uniting governing officials with tech execs. They are inspiring the coming generations. For example, events held by the Dubai Future Accelerators will include members of the community, such as their “Masterclass” – a series of interactive workshops that are meant to provide a comprehensive introduction to some of the technologies of the future and how to use them to benefit society.

This isn’t about how to write a business plan or how to pitch your startup. This is about changing the world. Today.

Other events will be less like classes and more like discussion panels, where individuals can come together to ask the best and brightest about their ideas regarding how to build a better tomorrow. Such sessions will be hosted by international experts and participants in the Accelerators program, and they will explore the impact that these latest trends will have (and are having) on people today and tomorrow.

“This is not a traditional accelerator. This isn’t about how to write a business plan or how to pitch your startup. It’s not about coding languages or search engine optimization. We aren’t going to tell you how to run your business or how to develop your website,” the DFF says. “This is about changing the world. Today.”

So, if you think that you might be able to help address one of the problems listed above, consider applying at the website by sending along a proposal, and if selected, you could be heading to Dubai to help usher in a better tomorrow.

Disclosure: The Dubai Future Foundation works in collaboration with Futurism and is one of our sponsors. This post was not paid for or edited by DFF.

The post Dubai Announces Accelerator to Solve the 21st Century’s Most Pressing Challenges appeared first on Futurism.


Delete yourself from the internet by pressing this button

The internet can be a beautiful and horrible place at the same time. It’s weird, and sometimes you feel like you want to leave. Sadly, there’s no easy way out — or there wasn’t, until now. Swedish developers Wille Dahlbo and Linus Unnebäck created, a web app that offers a way to wipe your entire existence off the internet in a few clicks. After logging into the website with a Google or Outlook account it scans for apps and services you’ve created an account for, and creates a list of them with easy delete links. Every account it finds gets paired with…

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