Intelligent CISO Issue 1 - Page 50

FEATURE IT professionals . . . will now be expected to become experts in smart lighting, heating and air conditioning systems. Increase in DDoS attacks DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are on the rise. In the UK alone, 41% of organisations say they have experienced a DDoS attack. IoT devices are a perfect vehicle for criminals to use to access a company’s network. In fact, 2016’s high-profile Mirai attack used IoT devices to mount wide-scale DDoS attacks that disrupted Internet service for more than 900,000 Deutsche Telekom customers in Germany and infected almost 2,400 TalkTalk routers in the UK. Ransomware attacks Elsewhere, there has been an almost 2000% jump in ransomware detections since 2015. Ransomware became a public talking point in 2017 when WannaCry targeted more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries, with damages ranging from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars. While most ransomware attacks currently infiltrate an organisation via email, IoT presents a new delivery system for both mass and targeted attacks. Consider the potentially life-threatening impact of ransomware on smart devices within critical applications; the ability of criminals to shut down critical business and logistics systems has already been repeatedly demonstrated. So perhaps it is unsurprising that a 2017 survey found that almost half of small businesses 50 questioned would pay a ransom on IoT devices to reclaim their data. Increasing intensity and sophistication of attacks The sophistication of attacks targeting organisations is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, with criminals leveraging the significantly expanded and expanding attack surface created by IoT for new disruptive opportunities. According to Fortinet’s latest Quarterly Threat Landscape report, three of the top 20 attacks identified in Q4 2017 were IoT botnets. But it says unlike previous attacks, which focused on exploiting a single vulnerability, new IoT botnets such as Reaper and Hajime target multiple vulnerabilities simultaneously, which is much harder to combat. Wi-Fi cameras were targeted by criminals with more than four times the number of exploit attempts detected over Q3 2017. The challenge is that none of these detections is associated with a known security threat, which Fortinet describes as “one of the more troubling aspects of the myriad of vulnerable devices that make up the IoT.” The effects of an attack The aftermath of a cyberattack can be devastating for any company, leading to huge financial losses, compounded by regulatory fines for data breaches and plummeting market share or job losses. At best, a company could suffer irreparable reputational damage and loss of customer loyalty. On top of that, IoT devices have the potential to create organisational and infrastructure risks, and even pose a threat to human life, if they are attacked. We have already seen the impact of nation-state attack tools being used as nation state weapons, then getting out and being used in commercial criminal activity. While the core focus is on defending critical infrastructure, and that is still far behind the curve, weak business infrastructure is a much softer target. Profit over security It’s crazy to think that devices with the potential to enable so much damage to homes, businesses and even entire cities often lack basic security design, implementation and testing. In the main this is because device manufacturers are pushing through their products to get them to market as quickly as possible, to cash in on the current buzz around IoT. Lawrence Munro, Vice President SpiderLabs at Trustwave, said: “We are seeing a lack of familiarity with secure coding concepts resulting in vulnerabilities, some of them a decade old, incorporated into final designs.” u Issue 01 | www.intelligentciso.com