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Enterprise IoT Adoption Gets Cybercriminals' Attention


Latin America. The Internet of Things (IoT) has not only impacted the industrial or home environment, but is transforming the way companies do business. The collection of valuable data through connected devices allows organizations to make better decisions and is a key indicator to know areas of opportunity, but it also represents ground gold for cybercrime.

By 2025 it is estimated that the number of IoT connections in Latin America will reach 1.2 billion, of which around 64% will be IoT connections for consumers, including smart home devices, wearables and smart vehicles, among others. According to the firm Statista, in the next two years the Internet of Things market could generate 47,000 million dollars in that region.

Oswaldo Palacios, Senior Account Executive for Akamai, acknowledged that although there has not been significant growth in IoT devices in the enterprise environment in Latin America, the number of devices connected to networks and / or applications has increased. Even some devices have been connected to the Internet for updating or remote manipulation, hence the great concern that they could be used as a gateway for more sophisticated attacks without security administrators noticing.

"There is a high risk in using the Internet of Things as cybercriminals have found a lot of security holes in IoT connectivity and computing usage. Some of these devices were not foreseen with the slightest layer of security with which the attack surface is extensive, "said the executive.

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How do you spread an attack across these smart devices? In this regard, Oswaldo Palacios explained: "in production lines when all devices are connected to the network, it is easy to perform a lateral movement without being detected, this is how Ransomware spreads and reaches critical assets. Another type of attack can be to disable the production line by cutting off the controller server's communication with IoT devices."

The expert also stressed that unfortunately employees, suppliers and occasional visitors connected to a company's network can get a malicious program into the network that can take advantage of their position and carry out an attack.

Micro-segmentation solves enterprise IoT security challenges
The global enterprise Internet of Things market is expected to reach $483 billion by the end of 2027, according to estimates by Statista. This technology first reached 201,000 million dollars of market revenue in 2022, and forecasts suggest that this figure will grow to about 238,000 million this year.

For Oswaldo Palacios, those industries dedicated to transformation, production and development use the Internet of Things more due to the nature of their operation, including: automotive, metal and metallurgical, hospitals, and practically any company that has an automated production line. Companies rely on this technology to improve and streamline their production processes, in addition to the speed in finished products that would not be possible with a manual process and repetitive high-volume tasks. Similarly, IoT is used in tasks that put humans at risk.

Fortunately, more and more companies are protecting their IoT assets, how they interact on the network and who has access to them. While not all IoT devices have the ability to install security software, actions such as microsegmentation help to have a better cybersecurity strategy since you have broad visibility of which assets communicate with each other.

The executive exemplified that, in a hospital, the analysis and operation teams should only contact their headquarters to obtain updates; but, those connections can be used by malware to reach critical assets such as payment applications, CRM, etc. In case of not having the necessary precautions, with microsegmentation it is possible to see and control from and where these connections go, and in case any are compromised, block it immediately without affecting the use of hospital equipment.

"Microsegmentation puts us one step ahead in any cybersecurity strategy, as it gives us complete visibility into who has access to which resource and how assets communicate with each other at the communication process level. This visibility allows us to detect and block any malware from its origin, as well as avoid lateral movements which in other security devices would be impossible to see," concluded Oswaldo Palacios.

Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Author: Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Jefe Editorial en Latin Press, Inc,.
Comunicador Social y Periodista con experiencia de más de 16 años en medios de comunicación. Apasionado por la tecnología y por esta industria. [email protected]

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