Wild West Report
Cybercrime - We live in a connected world, where more and more devices are coming online every day. It’s estimated that by 2020 more than 20 billion devices will be connected online. This massive increase of connected devices is not only the dawn of the Internet of Things (IoT), but it also the catalyst of a new age of organized cybercrime.
Enterprises are spending more and more to achieve automation in unimagined ways, operating bulldozers, diggers, and heavy trucks, or control drilling and processing equipment. Of course, this automation has its benefits like reduction in labor costs, continuous operation, increased efficiency, getting more work done in less time and a decreased error rate. But before these savings can be realized, industry must find a way curtail cybercrime.
IoT is undoubtedly one of biggest technology transformations of 21st century. It will not only automate devices which have been manually operated for decades by humans, but it will automate many processes as well. There are few areas in the industrial world where IoT will have no implication.
Deloitte, one of the world's "big four" accountancy firms was the victim of cyber crime in Sep 2017, when a sophisticated hack compromised its confidential emails and the information of some of its blue-chip clients was stlen. The cyber breach went unnoticed for months, and although there was no monetary loss reported, hackers were after the currency of the modern era, data.
All this cybercrime has dealt companies major setbacks and now the world is looking for new and innovative ways to defend against cyberattacks. Cybercrime is a fast-growing industry, like the way drugs and terrorism proliferated the real world in the 20th century.
The greatest barrier to mass acceptance of IoT, is security. Hackers are targeting healthcare, school districts, the energy sector, financial institutions and small business. Imagine the consequences of having critical infrastructure hacked, a municipal security system, air traffic control, the electrical grid, or a nuclear plant. This is the major challenge in which IoT must overcome. Once security is achieved, the IoT market is expected increase to 6 trillion annually by 2021.
Hackers have benefited from the emergence of cryptocurrencies, since it provides them with a legitimate way to operate without being traced. Modern Ransomware like Petya is an example, where your computer data is encrypted and will be decrypted only upon sending Bitcoin to a specified address. It is very difficult to trace payments to hackers as transactions remain anonymous using cryptocurrency.
Even cryptocurrency traders are vulnerable, Nice Hash, a Slovenian cryptocurrency mining marketplace, lost about $64 million worth of bitcoin due to hack of its payment system on Dec 7, 2017.
The 21st century internet is like the wild west, it’s a large frontier wide open for business and cybercrime.