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article imageIoT expansion could pose greater utilities threat

By Tim Sandle     Mar 24, 2018 in Business
According to a new assessment, the adoption of Internet of Things technology raises the prospect of new and more imaginative cybersecurity threats, especially for utilities companies.
The new threats are spelt out in a report from Navigant Research. The report correlates the increase in Internet of Things (IoT) technology adoption in parallel with increased risks of new cybersecurity threats. The report is titled "Managing IoT Cybersecurity Threats in the Energy Cloud Ecosystem", and it examines how cybersecurity threats related to the Internet of Things are likely to emerge.
Threats from hackers mean that the reliability of something like an electricity grid now needs to include both physical security and cybersecurity. Threats to either source can trigger instability, leading to blackouts and economic losses.
Speaking with the website Smart2Zero, Neil Strother, who headed up the research, explains: “The mushrooming number of Internet of Things devices being deployed by utilities and other enterprises carries an obvious and growing security risk.”
He adds that actions need to be taken: “Smart managers need a comprehensive strategy to stay ahead of potentially devastating threats to IoT assets."
The analyst goes on to state that conventional security measures are no longer appropriate and Information Technology managers need to adopt the latest proactive and predictive tools in order to to keep devices and systems safe.
This is not only essential to protect systems, and to keep consumer confidence high. Corporate customers are very influential in the utility space and there are signs that businesses are demanding more robust security along value and supply chains.
In terms of where risks to energy companies might arise from, the rise in connected home devices and services triggers a need for new security protocols. This growth in connected devices is a significant driver in the Internet of Things market.
The existence of cybersecurity threats is in keeping with government warnings. The U.S government, via the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, has issued a public warning that hackers are targeting U.S. energy and industrial firms.
As an example of what can be done to boost protection, a U.S. start-up called Dover is offering a hardware-based cybersecurity solution. This is called CoreGuard, and it is geared toward protecting the processors in embedded devices and industrial Internet of Things. CoreGuard enables hardware to enforce updatable security policies to defend processors and embedded systems against all network-based attacks.
More about internet of things, IoT, Utilities, Security, Cybersecurity
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