Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The protagonists of the Cold War

The Cold War refers to the political conflict between the so-called Western Bloc, led by the United States and capitalist countries; and the Eastern Bloc, headed by the Soviet Union and other communist nations. Its origin took place after the end of World War II (1945) and ended with the fall of the communist bloc after the USSR coup d'etat attempt. That name refers to the fact that during all these years there was no direct armed conflict between the two sides, although there were small representations, such as the wars in Vietnam or Afghanistan.

It was a war of information, in which the main protagonists were the spies who were in enemy territory. Their function was to collect information to be able to anticipate any kind of belligerent action by the enemy. Spies were the eyes and ears of the political blocs, giving their commanders crucial data that offered them a position of advantage over their enemies. In the world of cybersecurity, we live in a constant Cold War where we also have the enemy at home. In this case, these spies are represented on many occasions by the Internet of Things.

According to the research made by Altman Vilandrie & Company, almost half of US firms using the Internet of Things (IoT) network have been affected by a recent security breach, which can account for 13% of annual income of a small business.

The survey of approximately 400 IT managers from 19 industries shows that 48% of companies have experienced at least one security gap related to IoT. The study reveals the worrisome financial exposure of security at IoT, with losses for companies of all sizes: the cost of the attacks accounted for 13.4% of total revenues of companies with incomes under $5 million and tens of millions of dollars for larger companies. Thus, companies with more than 2 billion of annual revenues put the potential cost at more than 20 million.

"While traditional cybersecurity has attracted the attention of the country, security at the IoT has been in the background, even for some companies that have a lot to lose through such violations", says the director of Altman Vilandrie & Company, Stefan Bewley. "IoT attacks expose companies to the loss of data and services and can make connected devices become dangerous to customers, employees and the general public. Potential vulnerabilities for businesses of all sizes will continue to grow as devices become more dependent on the Internet"

According to the data collected, good preparation helps to avoid these violations: companies that have not experienced a security incursion have invested 65% more in security than those who have been attacked. The survey also shows that IT decision makers often choose IoT security solutions based on vendor reputation and product quality above cost as the main decision factor.

"It is critical that security providers build a strong brand and reputation in the IoT security space. There are many vendors who develop innovative solutions, but when it comes to purchasing decisions, buyers are looking for a trusted brand and product", says Ryan Dean, also director of Altman Vilandrie & Company. “Price is the primary secondary concern that buyers tend to evaluate after having reduced their options to a few strong security solutions."

In addition, the study also draws other interesting data:

• 68% of respondents understand security in IoT as a different category, but only the 43% have an independent budget.

• Although different business units may have different needs, 3 out of 4 companies centralize IoT security decisions for the entire organization.

• After "avoiding loss of control over IoT devices," traditional cybersecurity concerns such as "preventing breaches of customer information" and "preventing breaches of business data" are classified as the following important reasons for adopting IoT security.

The Internet of Things came into our lives to make out daily tasks easier. However, it can be the perfect spy for cybercriminals to enter our lives (whether professional or personal) and get our data. A form of espionage reminiscent of Cold War conspiracy plots. So, before letting any IoT device into your house, you better perform a good interrogation first.


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