The Digital Age has ushered in some remarkable technologies, many of which have made life much easier and more efficient. But, as with all technologies, there are some pitfalls to the Digital Age as well, principally the theft of personal data by cyber thieves.
In fact, cyber security is of paramount concern today to government, business and industry. As reported by Healthcare IT News, 78 percent of business professionals believe the threat from the so-called Internet of Radios will only increase over the next year, according to a just-released study from Bastille Networks Internet Security, an enterprise threat detection vendor.
In case you haven’t heard, the Internet of Radios is the collection of the Internet of Things – mobile, medical and other devices that use radio frequency to communicate. The study identified the top 10 Internet of Radios security issues, from the most threatening to the least:
- Rogue cell towers (known as “stingrays”) that are also used by law enforcement
- Rogue Wi-Fi hotspots
- Exfiltration of Bluetooth data (called “tethering”)
- Surveillance devices used to eavesdrop (like bugs in conference rooms)
- Vulnerable wireless peripherals like mice and keyboards
- Unapproved presence of cellular devices
- Unapproved wireless cameras
- Wireless building controls
- Unapproved Internet of Things emitters
- Building alarm systems
“With the rise of mobile, wireless and IoT devices in the healthcare workplace, there’s a significant gap between security awareness and preparedness in the healthcare industry as many of these devices contain vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit and use as a portal for entry into a healthcare organization’s network,” said Bastille CEO Chris Risley, as reported by Healthcare IT News.
Indeed, half of the 300 business pros who responded to the survey said that Internet of Things devices were already impacting security.
So, what can we do to mitigate the dangers of being hacked or having our devices taken over?
For one, it’s vital that businesses and managers know their employees. Understanding employee behavior will be vital moving forward in the Digital Age, especially because of devices they will be bringing into the workplace in the near future. Large organizations will want to protect their sensitive data, so they’ll want to know the movement of devices in and out of their environment for full situational awareness, Risley noted.
Next, companies will want to monitor their own airspace for devices and intrusions. They will need to deploy technologies that provide more visibility into the Internet of Radios devices, no matter if their owned by the company or if they belong to individuals and employees. “Only after a vulnerable device has been identified can it be patched,” said Risley.
Finally, companies will need to take lessons from attacks and intrusions against other firms, and adapt their cyber protection strategies accordingly.