The Internet of Things (IoT) is today applied to anything and everything—cars, planes, trains, electronic grids, nuclear power, factories, light bulbs… even toys.
In the GCC, it is gaining a solid footing across sectors including energy, transportation and manufacturing.
However, Booz Allen Hamilton’s recent IoT Field Guide reports that the vulnerability of IoT to external cyber threats is significantly higher than traditional IT, and businesses need to do more to proactively protect themselves.
According to the report, organizations must find ways to secure their networks, involve stakeholders and ensure that IoT is not an afterthought.
In 2016 the U.A.E. was targeted for no less than three cyber-attacks, as revealed by Kaspersky Labs in their latest Review of the Year.
“IoT is fast becoming a part of every industry and nearly every aspect of our everyday lives,” explains Dr. Raymond Khoury, Executive Vice President and Digital Practice Lead at Booz Allen Hamilton, MENA.
“It is imperative that organizations visualize and understand its complex interconnections and intricacies to identify where potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities lie so that adequate security efforts can be implemented in time.”
According to Booz Allen Hamilton a ‘Resource Prioritization Model’ can help organizations alleviate and contain any risks.
The three elements of this model—the technical risk assessment, the potential impact of an attack on the business, and mitigation strategies—could empower organizations’ stakeholders and teams across the business to make effective IoT security investment decisions.
Real-time threat-assessment data and the latest advances in analytics are helping businesses across the globe to prepare for potential cybersecurity hacks.
“It is not enough for organizations to discuss cyber threats in the IoT context. They must formalize them into clear policies that everyone will follow,” says Danny Karam, Vice President and Digital Life Platform Lead at Booz Allen Hamilton MENA.
“This involves considering the real cost, buying hardware from manufacturers that can help scale IoT systems, ensuring that software and hardware aren’t connected to IoT systems unless they are secure, and incorporating solid fundamental cyber security practices across all levels.”