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August 10, 2015

Black Hat USA: Security response defines IoT survival or demise

In order to survive in the IoT age, businesses will have to polish their security responses or risk “total demise”.

By Joao Lima

Security surrounding the IoT spectrum became the major keynote at this year’s Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, US, last week.

On Sunday, businesses developing IoT solutions were warned by a cybersecurity watchdog that their survival will depend on how they respond to a security threat.

Joe Caruso, head of Global Digital Forensics (GDF), said: "The difference between survival and total demise will all come down to how an organisation responds.

"It is not some distant future world we are talking about, it is unfolding today."

Caruso added that cyber threats are evolving every day and exemplified with GDF’s 24/7 emergency incident response teams deployed across the globe as a way of dealing with unexpected attacks.

Attendees of the conference found that security flaws in the ZigBee standard, used by several smart solutions, can give hackers total control of people’s homes and that security around the smart car is still an area that needs further investigation.

Another way for businesses to respond to such events is to offer regular updates and continued assistance to customers, as Amol Sarwate, director of engineering at Qualys told CBR.

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"Too often, devices are released and not updated when components or standards are updated. Responsibility for this should be included within each IoT device, and considered as part of wider services as well."

Despite security concerns, Ben Parker, CTO at Guavus, told CBR that successful IoT projects are inextricably linked with positive business outcomes. "It requires a lot of organisational change to effectively align the two and this has to be managed at the C-suite level as a lot of processes and practices will need to be adapted.

"There will be very few businesses whose practices and business models are not disrupted by the IoT and the organisations who successfully adapt to the IoT era will be the ones who are ahead of the game in re-organising in order to make sure that all key business decisions are backed up by rigorous analytics.

"Those who are first on the bandwagon will have a huge advantage over those who aren’t as quick to react."

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