IoT devices, weakest link in cloud security: Fortinet

Cyber security solutions company, Fortinet, has unveiled six predictions about the threat landscape for 2017. According to the company, the FortiGuard Labs threat research team has anticipated the threat and revealed the potential impact of cyber attacks to the global digital economy. “The expanding attack surface enabled by technology innovations such as cloud computing and IoT devices, global shortage of cyber security talent, and regulatory pressures continue to be significant drivers of cyber threats. The pace of these changes is unprecedented, resulting in a critical tipping point as the impact of cyber attacks are felt well beyond their intended victims in personal, political, and business consequences,” said Derek Manky, Global Security Strategist, Fortinet.
“The need for accountability at multiple levels is urgent and real and are affecting vendors, governments, and consumers alike. If not taken action swiftly, the real risk will continue to disrupt the progress of the global digital economy.”

Highlights of the predictions:

1. Automated and human-like attacks will demand more intelligent defense: The prediction demonstrated that in the coming year, the malware designed “human-like” attacks are expected. 2. IoT manufacturers will be accountable for security breaches: If IoT manufacturers fail to secure their devices, the impact on the digital economy could be devastating and the consumers will begin to hesitate to buy them out of cyber security fears. An increase in the call for action from consumers, vendors and other interest groups for the creation and enforcement of security standards could be seen. 3. 20 billion IoT devices are the weakest link for attacking the cloud: The weakest link in cloud security is not in its architecture but in the billions of remote devices accessing cloud resources. The attacks designed to exploit endpoint devices which resulted in client side attacks and can effectively target and breach cloud providers was anticipated by the team. In future, the Organizations will increasingly adopt fabric-based security and segmentation strategies that will enable them to create, orchestrate, and enforce seamless security policies between their physical, virtual, and private cloud environments from IoT to the cloud. 4. Attackers will begin to turn up the heat in smart cities: The potential for massive civil disruption compromised in any of these integrated systems is severe, and are likely to be a high-value target for cyber criminals. 5. Ransomware, the gateway malware: The forecast has also revealed that there could be focused attacks against high-profile targets, such as celebrities, political figures, and large organizations. These automated attacks will introduce an economy of scale to ransomware and will extort small amounts of money from large numbers of victims especially by targeting IoT devices. 6. Technology will have to close the gap on the critical cyber skills shortage: The shortage of skilled cyber security professionals means that many organizations or countries looking to participate in the digital economy globally do not have the experience or training necessary to develop a security policy, protect critical assets which move freely between network environments, or identify and respond to today’s more sophisticated attacks. Trends and Take-Aways Fortinet claims that the digital footprint of both Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud has increased the potential attack surface. Everything has become a target and anything can be a weapon. The Threats are becoming more intelligent, and are difficult to detect. Moreover, old threats are returning, enhanced with new technologies that push the boundaries of detection and forensic investigation. The company states that more than 200 experts, researchers and analysts from around the world are a part of FortiGuard Labs who work with in-house developed tools and technology to study, discover, and protect against cyber-threats. The team studies malware, botnets, IoT, and zero-day vulnerabilities to break code and develop new defense engines to combat continually evolving threats.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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