IoT ONE Index: Cybersecurity
With the recent ransomware attacks that struck computer networks across numerous institutions spread over nearly 100 countries, this has served as a timely reminder to us about the importance of cybersecurity. This is especially crucial to companies with extensive IIoT networks in their operations, since these networks tend to be more complicated and have multiple access points for malicious software.
Ransomware and IIoT Networks:
One famous case of an IoT ransomware attack came from a rather unlikely source. In January 2017, a 4-star hotel in Austria became a victim of a ransomware attack that targeted the hotel's computer and keycard systems that locked out 180 guests from their rooms.
While this may seem daunting, Candid Wueest of Symantec in his recent article mentioned that IoT devices are not always a hacker's go-to avenue to launch a cyberattack - at least not yet. This is because they often don't contain as much information as a computer or smartphone so there is very little to hold ransom in the first place. There is some truth to this, however this is just one side of the coin.
The True Threat of IIoT Ransomware:
What we have to realize about IIoT ransomware is that it is not just about holding your data hostage. According to GeoTab CEO Neil Cawse, “While traditional ransomware affects your computer and locks your files, IoT ransomware has the opportunity to control systems in the real world, beyond just the computer." With the ability to bring production lines to a grinding halt and disable entire power grids, it is becoming clear that the IIoT ecosystem is a very attractive ransomware target.
As the IIoT evolves, so will the cyberthreats that are associated with them. Click here to read more about IIoT cybersecurity and stay abreast with all the developments in this domain.