Fortinet: 20 Billion IoT Devices Are the Weakest Link in Cybersecurity

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Attacks on smart cities and a critical cybersecurity skills gap are among the company’s 2017 cybersecurity predictions.

IoT devices, not cloud architecture, will be the weakest link in cloud security, according to one of several cybersecurity predictions for 2017 made by Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs threat research team.

According to Fortinet’s report, they expect to see an increase in attacks targeted at endpoint devices that will spawn attacks that can breach cloud providers. The company stated that they predict that organizations will adopt strategies that will allow them to create, deploy and enforce seamless security policies across physical, cloud and virtual environments.

The company’s predictions all center around cybersecurity and the potential impacts cyberattacks could have on the global digital economy in 2017 and beyond. The other predictions they made on their blog include:

Threats are getting smarter. The company said in 2017 they expect to see a rise in autonomous attacks and malware that is designed to be “human-like” with machine learning to increase the impact and efficiency of attacks.

IoT manufacturers will be held accountable. Fortinet predicts that there will be an increasing call to action by consumers and vendors alike for the creation and enforcement of IoT security standards, and for manufacturers to be held accountable for device security.

Smart cities will be a major target. The increasing popularity of building automation will attract hackers, the company predicts, and the potential civil disruption could be catastrophic.

Ransomware will focus on high-profile targets. Celebrities, large organizations and even political figures will be the targets of automated attacks using IoT devices, said the company.

A shortage in cybersecurity skills will remain critical. The final prediction says that many companies and countries who want to participate in the digital economy will do so at a great risk because they simply don’t have enough people with the skills and training needed to develop an effective security policy or respond effectively to attacks.

“The expanding attack surface enabled by technology innovations such as cloud computing and IoT devices, a global shortage of cybersecurity talent, and regulatory pressures continue to be significant drivers of cyber threats. The pace of these changes is unprecedented, resulting in a critical tipping point as the impact of cyber attacks are felt well beyond their intended victims in personal, political, and business consequences. Going forward, the need for accountability at multiple levels is urgent and real affecting vendors, governments, and consumers alike. Without swift action, there is a real risk of disrupting the progress of the global digital economy,” said Derek Manky, global security strategist, Fortinet.

Related:

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Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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