Security

Why IoT education is necessary to protect yourself from cyber attacks

An expert panel at the Global Cybersecurity Summit in Kiev, Ukraine, discussed various devices that could be connected in the future, and how they might impact consumers, governments, and industries.

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson joined cybersecurity experts Suzanne Spaulding, Karl Holmqvist, and Alexander Yurchak at this year's Global Cybersecurity Summit in Kiev, Ukraine, to discuss connectivity with future devices and how to mitigate associated cyber threats.

SEE: Research: Defenses, response plans, and greatest concerns about cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (Tech Pro Research)

Holmqvist, CEO and founder of Lastwall, described the Internet of Things (IoT) as the "addition of connectivity to normal everyday devices." From traffic lights controlled from a central facility, to webcams, to automobiles, Holmqvist emphasized the recent spike in connected devices, which blurs the line between what is connected and what is not. The scariest part of these devices is how they are built without security in mind, Holmqvist said. Companies never anticipated a situation in which devices are usefully connected like they are now, he added.

Spaulding, former under secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, agreed that "our cyberdependency increases everyday." Mitigation is essential, whether by engaging in risk management, or making sure there is a physical backup plan for a digital solution. Spaulding also explained how threat vectors are ever changing and ever present.

Yurchak, director of the Association of Industrial Automation of Ukraine, highlighted the communication issue in cybersecurity. People need to be educated on the growing risks with connectivity, Yurchak added, and the cyber community needs to form a technical standard for building more secure tools moving forward.

All three experts agreed that in order to mitigate attacks, the industry must identify them and inform the public when they occur. When cyberattacks happen, people need to be educated on what they entail in order to protect themselves. The panel concluded by saying that it's far easier to take precautions—changing passwords and firmware—than attempting to stop every hacker from committing cyberattacks.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

    1. Everyday devices are becoming more and more connected, which means cyber attacks are becoming every more imminent in day to day activities, according to an expert panel speaking at the Global Cybersecurity Summit in Kiev, Ukraine.
    2. Future technology needs to be created with cybersecurity in mind, rather than waiting for a cyber attack to occur.
    3. In order to mitigate cyberthreats, the public must be informed on how cyber attacks occur and easy ways to stay protected.

      Also see

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      About Macy Bayern

      Macy Bayern is the 2017 summer Editorial intern for TechRepublic. She is an honors student at the University of Texas at Austin and a former intern at Texas Monthly.

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