Edge IoT devices will provide easier entry point for cyberattacks in 2022

Article By : Nitin Dahad

More edge IoT devices gives more opportunity for cyberattacks as cybercriminals infiltrate connected systems, and devices built on legacy technology without proper security are soft targets ripe for exploitation.

The growth in IoT devices will increase the threat of cyberattacks targeting edge devices in 2022. “Look for increased attacks on IoT-enabled environments and infrastructure as the ability of cybercriminals to infiltrate connected systems continues to be a profitable endeavor,” said embedded IoT security firm Sequitur Labs.

The company said edge devices have been used as attack vectors to compromise networks or systems for the past five years. Once a cybercriminal has access to an edge device, they are able to quickly and easily interrupt operational activities to cause downtime, loss of revenue and damage to an organization’s reputation. Intellectual property can be stolen and held for ransom.

With billions of new IoT devices expected to come online over the next several years, securing these devices has become an area of significant importance, with IoT vendors needing to design, manufacture and deploy their products without the risk of being compromised. The company cited recent reports indicating that the global IoT market is expected to reach nearly $1.5 trillion by 2027 as driving factors of increased demand for smart sensors, development of smart cities and industry developments in the field of AI continue to proliferate. This growth will propel a corresponding rise in the IoT security market as organizations remain increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks as devices come online.

While connected devices deliver a plethora of benefits to businesses, the necessity of being connected to public networks and the internet leave them particularly vulnerable to attack. Hence it is very likely there will be increased attacks on IoT-enabled environments and infrastructure as the ability of cybercriminals to infiltrate connected systems continues to be a profitable endeavor.

IoT devices built on legacy technology without proper security protocols in place remain soft targets ripe for exploitation. Until device manufacturers implement security suites to handle threats to connected devices, expect to see even more high-profile cases of hacking and attacks to both private businesses and public institutions in 2022.

Phil Attfield-Sequitur Labs
Phil Attfield

The CEO of Sequitur Labs, Phil Attfield, commented, “Houses are built with locks on the front door for a reason. Not having such a security device installed at a key entry point is an invitation for people with less than pure intentions to help themselves to your property. The same is true of any technology device, especially those that connect to the internet. IoT device adoption will continue to grow significantly in the next few years. It would be unheard of for device manufacturers to not include a security suite to protect against unwanted intrusion into their customers business-critical infrastructures. Therefore, we see an expected rise in embedded security solutions to happen in lockstep with the increase in device adoption.”

The team at Sequitur Labs forecasts increased activity in several specific areas, and made three predictions it expects to materialize over the next 12 months:

Customers and governments are getting proactive about IoT security: greater awareness of security needs across sectors as governments and standards organizations issue guidelines. Standards like PSA and SESIP will become essential, not new. Significant awareness thanks to the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act, and Biden’s executive order. Examples of the new recommendation that are impactful are the adoption of zero-trust architecture, which is the essence of next-generation methods of mutual authentication and mutually authenticated command and control.

Protection of edge AI takes center stage: the AI-enabled edge device market will broaden. More devices at multiple price/performance points will become available and the vast majority of data will be processed by smart devices at the edge in the coming years – accelerating in 2022. Additionally, smart infrastructure investments will rise, leading to the consideration of new technology and an end-to-end approach to cybersecurity.

IoT set to grow across multiple sectors: agriculture, health, industrial, consumer, and automotive. Greater awareness of security needs will extend across sectors as governments and standards organizations issue a steady stream of new guidelines.

In order to address the real threat of cyberattacks, developers need to be actively considering integration of security solutions in IoT devices, so that device manufacturers can help provide better IoT security to customers with real-time protection from threats.

This article was originally published on Embedded.

Nitin Dahad is a correspondent for EE Times, EE Times Europe and also Editor-in-Chief of embedded.com. With 35 years in the electronics industry, he’s had many different roles: from engineer to journalist, and from entrepreneur to startup mentor and government advisor. He was part of the startup team that launched 32-bit microprocessor company ARC International in the US in the late 1990s and took it public, and co-founder of The Chilli, which influenced much of the tech startup scene in the early 2000s. He’s also worked with many of the big names—including National Semiconductor, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, Dialog Semiconductor and Marconi Instruments.


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