5 Key Technological Advancements That Are Currently Boosting Cybersecurity Efforts
Technology is constantly improving, and the rate of change in cyber security is accelerating. Companies investing in new systems and software to run their business add more potential vulnerabilities. Furthermore, adversaries are no longer just individuals – they’re increasingly sophisticated, leveraging integrated tools and technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Because of this, no organization is immune from cyber threats. Large companies and small and midsize enterprises both face the same risks, and even sophisticated cyber controls will soon become outdated.
1. IoT Devices
The emergence of IoT devices brings new challenges and opportunities. For instance, IoT-based healthcare solutions can lower costs, enhance diagnosis and treatment, and facilitate predictive maintenance, making it easier to keep track of and repair equipment before a problem arises. However, IoT devices can also create a wealth of information for attackers, as a Gemalto study showed that only 48% of companies can detect cyber-attacks.
Prone to Vulnerabilities
IoT devices are prone to a wide range of vulnerabilities, including those in the communication network. These vulnerabilities are difficult to patch and are exacerbated by their service lives extending well beyond their cyber life. Additionally, they may be vulnerable to ransomware and phishing attacks if their manufacturers fail to update their operating systems regularly. The cyber threat from IoT devices is significant, as they can expose highly sensitive patient information and endanger their safety. If you are using a VPN for a private browsing experience, use the IPv4 or IPv6 protocol. Furthermore, the IPv6 leak test can also help in identifying data leaks.
To prevent these vulnerabilities, IoT devices should be kept on different networks. This way, they do not serve as backdoors to an organization. Besides this, placing the devices on separate networks also ensures greater security. IoT devices are also becoming increasingly secure, as manufacturers strive to remove security flaws. Moreover, governments are increasing the regulatory oversight of IoT devices. As a consumer, you can do some research before purchasing an IoT device to ensure that the manufacturer adheres to security standards. Some companies make security information available on their packaging, while others do not.
2. Cloud Computing
A major threat to cloud security is data compromise. Because user data is stored outside of the enterprise boundary, it is at greater risk of loss or compromise. Operations failures, insufficient authentication, and authorization, or accidental deletion of records without a backup are all potential causes of data loss. Hackers may also gain access to data by exploiting loopholes in applications or injecting client code into the system. This type of attack can have devastating effects on an organization’s brand, financial resources, and productivity.
In addition to advancing security, this is enhancing everyday life. Whether it is a smart home or a smart city, it can improve the way citizens live and respond to emergencies. Moreover, cloud computing and IoT devices can improve public energy grids, distribute resources more equitably, and predict surges. Smart cities also enable traffic lights to sync with one another and communicate with each other. Street surveillance can be automated with smart cameras.
3. Remote Computers
In addition to facilitating data mobility, cloud storage makes it possible to use remote computers for collaboration. Remote workers can access corporate data on their smartphones and tablets. They can also take advantage of cloud services to maintain a balance between work and personal life. Organizations with high employee satisfaction rates are more likely to expand their cloud usage. The threat of cyberattacks and malware has accelerated the adoption of cloud services. But while cloud computing does pose a security risk, it is also one of the most cost-effective solutions to meet today’s business needs.
Cyberattacks on cloud computing systems can be extremely damaging. By overloaded server resources, attackers can overload services. For example, a single DoS attack can affect many users. Since cloud systems utilize more virtual machines and service instances, a single attack may slow down legitimate users. Even worse, a single VM may consume the entire system’s resources, causing the entire system to slow down and crash.
As automation and information technologies advance, the ability to predictably manipulate biological systems also improves. Research suggests that by 2040, biotechnology innovations could contribute to over 20 percent of global economic activity. These technologies could improve agricultural productivity and prevent damage to crops from pests and insects. Additionally, biotech will improve our relationship with the environment. These new developments will be challenging for societies to balance the benefits of these breakthroughs with safety concerns.
Recent publications indicate that cybersecurity has multiple dimensions that go beyond its origin in the life sciences. Eventually, it could become a discipline with systematics and evolutionary paths. A critical component of cybersecurity is the development of biotechnological tools that can detect and prevent the spread of pathogenic microbes. While several other technological advances will help protect cyberspace, biotechnology is one of the most promising.
As biotechnology continues to advance, the risks of industrial espionage increase. Biotechnology is a powerful source of genetic information and may be used as a weapon. However, if misused, it could also lead to human espionage. Nonetheless, the report suggests that both the U.S. and China have common interests in biosafety and security.
While biotechnology is a key technological advance for cybersecurity, biosecurity does not have mutually exclusive goals. Biosecurity, for example, has been focused on reducing the risks associated with the misuse of science. Inappropriate use of these technologies could cause harm to humans, animals, plants, and the environment. Biosecurity and biotechnological systems are interdependent but their overlap has only recently become evident.
5. Embedded Authenticators
Authenticators are increasingly becoming commonplace for authentication, with a variety of benefits, and some of them are a great help in cybersecurity. One of these benefits is the availability of additional authenticators in case one is lost, stolen, or damaged. This backup option is extremely useful, as it offers an alternative authentication method in the event of a device failure or human error.
There are many types of authenticators, and a variety of protocols and standards are available. These standards have requirements ranging from the complexity of the authentication process to the revocation of credentials. The most common form of authenticator is a memorized secret, such as a PIN or password. These must be secret and complex enough to discourage unauthorized access. Typically, this secret is something the user knows, and it should never be shared with others.
An attacker might guess the secret and use it to gain access. Alternatively, they could gain access to the CSP or verifier and perform a dictionary attack on the secret value. This would be highly difficult because the attacker would need to steal the authenticator or memorize it. Physical security measures would also protect stolen authenticators by providing detection and response. The secret could also be stolen if an attacker was able to observe the user’s entry. Or the attacker could install malicious software and steal the secret through offline attacks. Finally, the attacker could use the password database maintained by the verifier.
The security risks of using a restricted authenticator can be minimal if the CSP can implement some controls. Limiting failed authentication attempts to a hundred can prevent any hacker attacks, for example. A CAPTCHA can also be required before authentication. As the account approaches its maximum allowance, the waiting period increases. If a subscriber uses an authenticator that has a whitelist of acceptable IP addresses, the verifier can use this list to identify the subscriber successfully.
The Bottom Line
The deployment of these technologies is increasing the importance of security in manufacturing organizations. The convergence of IT and OT has led to significant gaps in the cybersecurity of manufacturing organizations. While many industrial IoT devices do not feature strong embedded security, new technology is addressing this. For instance, Pulse Secure announced an integration with Nozomi Networks in December 2019, which extends zero-trust protection to industrial IoT and ICS devices.