on May 26th, 2023

With everything and everyone online, the lack of cyber security can cause devastating harm, and connected devices, including those used in manufacturing, maintenance and production facilities are not immune to threats.

As the digital landscape evolves at an astonishing pace, so do the methods employed by cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities and compromise sensitive information. Let’s dive into the exciting world of cyber security and explore some big IoT cyber security trends worldwide.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the practice of protecting electronic devices, networks, and sensitive information from unauthorized access, theft, or damage. It involves the use of technologies, processes, and best practices to prevent cyber-attacks and minimize the risk of data breaches and other cyber threats.

Advances in technology have made our lives more convenient, but they have also created new vulnerabilities for cyber attackers to exploit. The Internet of Things (IoT), for example, has brought connected devices into our homes and workplaces, but these devices often lack adequate security measures.

Why is Cyber Security in Industrial Networks Important?

Cyber security is essential in today’s world, where individuals, businesses, and governments rely on electronic devices and systems to store and transmit sensitive information. The goal of cybersecurity is to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic data, while also protecting against unauthorized access and cyber threats.

In addition, hackers can now utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to trigger automated cyberattacks that can easily compromise secure networks without any human intervention. These automated cyberattacks pose a global threat and can be done on a large scale.

For example, in October 2016, an Internet of Things (IoT) botnet, consisting of a group of computers running bots, was employed to carry out a severe distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against Dyn, a provider of Internet performance management services. This attack led to the temporary shutdown of numerous websites, including major platforms like CNN, Netflix, and Twitter.

Once affected by the Mirai malware, computers persistently scoured the internet for vulnerable IoT devices and subsequently infected them with malware by utilizing commonly used default usernames and passwords. Among the targeted devices were digital cameras and DVR players, among others.

However, at the same time the widespread adoption of IoT faces challenges due to the need for seamless experiences, cybersecurity concerns, and the gap between IoT buyers and providers. Converging IoT and cyber security is crucial to build trust and unlocking the full potential of IoT, with a projected market value of $500 billion by 2030. However, this convergence requires a mindset shift, standardized solutions, talent development, and industry collaboration.

McKinsey has been surveying multiple companies on the topic of the IoT, as well as participating in active discussions on its challenges. The company emphasizes the transformative value of IoT, estimating its potential impact at $5.5 trillion to $12.6 trillion by 2030, but highlights the need for further exploration at the intersection of IoT and cybersecurity.

Cyber crime is all around us.

Latest Trends in Cybersecurity

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are being used to strengthen cybersecurity everywhere. These technologies can help identify and respond to cyber threats in real time, providing automated defenses that can detect and neutralize attacks before they can cause significant harm.

Here are some of the advances in industrial cyber security that can be deployed today and may prove helpful:

  1. Automated Threat Management: Manually verifying users and devices is a time-consuming and resource-intensive task, especially with the ever-increasing number of connected devices on networks. This manual approach is also prone to errors and false positives, making it less effective.

However, emerging startups are addressing this challenge by offering AI-based automated threat management solutions. These solutions seamlessly integrate into existing IT infrastructure, allowing for continuous monitoring of data flows, device activities, and user access. By analyzing vast amounts of real-time and historical data, administrators gain valuable insights to swiftly identify and halt suspicious activities.

Australian startup Hyprfire has developed Firebug, a powerful threat-hunting and network monitoring tool. By utilizing statistics and explainable AI, Firebug detects unauthorized devices, lateral movement, and anomalies in network baselines. This comprehensive visibility helps network security teams identify and prevent cyber risks effectively.

2. Cloud Security: The shift to remote work has increased cyber risks, leading to a rise in startup activity for cloud security solutions. These startups develop cloud-native cyber security platforms, simplifying security management across multiple cloud platforms. Additionally, they offer encryption technologies like homomorphic encryption to process data without decryption. These innovative solutions strengthen the cybersecurity of cloud-based services.

Israeli startup Lightspin provides a graph-based cloud security platform. Using attack-path analysisand graph theory algorithms helps visualize and prioritize potential attack paths, uncover security gaps, and centralized security management for cloud stacks.

3. Zero-Trust Architecture: The surge in connected devices, predicted to reach 14 billion by 2022, has made authenticating network connection requests highly complex. As a solution, the cyber security industry emphasizes Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) to eliminate authorization for suspicious devices. With ZTA, access is denied by default, reducing the risk of malicious hackers accessing critical data. Startups combine AI and ZTA to automate request processing, ensuring request authenticity and relevance.

US startup BastionZero utilizes Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) for secure cloud access. Their access protocol eliminates the need for VPNs and integrates with existing single sign-on systems, enhancing policy management and access control while mitigating credential risks.

4. Identity and Access Management: To minimize false positives and negatives, IT teams require an efficient identity and access management (IAM) system. As businesses adopt hybrid IT environments with distributed data and resources across edge servers, cloud services, and on-premises installations, startups have emerged with identity management systems specifically designed for these environments. This is crucial given the evolving work culture and the growing number of connected devices on networks.

SonicBee, a Dutch startup, offers Identity and Access Management-as-a-Service (IAMaaS) for businesses. Their Intelligence Access Platform provides a solution for security teams to efficiently manage access across on-premises and cloud environments. By automating access provisioning and de-provisioning, as well as offering centralized control management, SonicBee simplifies access management for companies operating in diverse network environments.

5. Behavioral Analytics: With the rise of man-in-the-middle and phishing attacks, relying solely on password authentication for identity verification is no longer sufficient for security teams. This is where behavior analytics come into play.

By analyzing historic and real-time data, behavior analytics solutions can identify deviations from standard user workflows, flag suspicious activity and mitigate cyber risks. This context-aware workflow, enabled by startups utilizing machine learning or advanced analytics, enhances cyber risk management. By minimizing insider threats, this risk-based approach significantly reduces data leaks within organizations.

Indian startup Foresiet offers a cyber digital investigator platform. Powered by AI, it monitors networks and devices, detecting malicious activities like targeted attacks and ransomware. The platform enables network admins to create improvement plans and provides insights on attack surface visibility and threat actors.

Mastering Cyber Safety

However, many systems engineers put in place, the weakest link is often a human factor. There are some basics of cyber security that all of us should adopt in our professional and personal life.

These basics include two-factor authentication, software updates, thinking before entering sites, and using strong passwords.

Protecting your devices will protect you company and your personal information.

Turn on Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): This is a security approach for managing access that necessitates two types of identification in order to reach data and resources. Two-factor authentication (2FA) plays a crucial role in safeguarding online security by promptly mitigating the dangers associated with compromised passwords. If a password is hacked, guessed, or obtained through phishing, it no longer grants an intruder access. The password alone becomes ineffective without authorization from the second factor.

Update your Software: Numerous software updates incorporate security enhancements aimed at addressing vulnerabilities that may be exploited by cybercriminals. These updates are developed in response to the identification or exploitation of critical vulnerabilities. Their purpose is to safeguard against potential threats and ensure the software remains protected.

Think Before You Click: By inadvertently clicking on inappropriate content, you inadvertently provide an entry point for cybercriminals to infiltrate your computer system. This action can result in the installation of malicious software (malware), monitoring of your keystrokes via a keylogger, or unauthorized access to your passwords and online accounts.

Use Strong Passwords: The utilization of a robust password is crucial as it plays a vital role in safeguarding your personal and sensitive data against unauthorized intrusion. Hackers and cybercriminals employ diverse techniques, such as dictionary attacks, brute force attacks, and social engineering, to decipher weak passwords and gain illicit access.

Cyber security everywhere is a critical issue that affects us all. As we rely more on digital devices and systems, the need for strong cybersecurity measures will only increase. Individuals, businesses, and governments must work together to adopt best practices and use technology to protect against cyber-attacks. By staying vigilant and proactive, we can help create a safer, more secure digital world.

REFERENCES

Cybersecurity Innovations and Disruptions: What To Know Before Adopting New Technologies

Top 10 Cybersecurity Trends & Innovations in 2023

Cybersecurity for the IoT: How trust can unlock value

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