Be Aware of These AI and IoT Risks In Various Industries
Thu, April 22, 2021

Be Aware of These AI and IoT Risks In Various Industries

Users are vulnerable to cyber attacks unless endpoint security solutions are implemented in IoT and AI devices. Any individual in control of one or more of these devices can easily access and compromise multiple computers and networks / Photo by: everythingpossible via 123RF

 

Cybersecurity risks are now becoming even more complex due to the growth of AI and IoT, wrote Aaron McIntosh of Tech Radar, an online publication on technology. By 2020, every individual will generate 1.7 megabytes of information per second. As technologies evolve, cyber attackers adapt and discover new hacking methods to extract sensitive data. AI and IoT have the potential to revolutionize our society, but what if these technologies are exploited by cybercriminals? 

Users are vulnerable to cyber attacks unless endpoint security solutions are implemented in IoT and AI devices. Any individual in control of one or more of these devices can easily access and compromise multiple computers and networks. The health sector, banks, and private homes are major risk fields. Criminals are aware that the more devices are linked, the more data they can access. 

Statistics On AI and IoT 

In a study conducted by SAS, Deloitte, and Intel, 68% of companies rely on IoT data to inform daily operational decisions via spreadsheets and non-AI technologies out of the 450 business leaders they surveyed across the globe, according to independent site Help Net Security. 79% of senior leaders take part in IoT project decisions, with 92% of respondents saying AIoT value exceeds expectations.  

Apparently, only 12% use IoT to inform planning decisions. However, this figure jumped to 31% when AI entered the picture. Further, companies that use IoT data without AI saw a 32% increase, but if they use AI, companies saw speeds improve by 53%. Therefore, the combination of AI and IoT helped them speed up operations, offer new digital services, improve employee productivity, and minimize costs. 

Melvin Greer, Chief Data Scientist at Intel Americas, said, “AI closes the loop in an IoT environment where IoT devices gather or create data, and AI helps automate important choices and actions based on that data.” Even if IoT and AI are cutting-edge technologies, businesses (and even consumers) can’t help but worry about security tasks that come with them. 

In fact, 76% of risk professionals think IoT leaves them vulnerable to cyberattacks, as found by independent research website Ponemon Institute and global membership organization Shared Assessments, as cited by cybersecurity news website Security Boulevard.  Alarmingly, IoT devices are attacked within five minutes as soon as they are connected to the internet, said NETSCOUT, a provider of application and network performance management products.  

Security Vulnerabilities in Various Sectors

1. Finance Sector

Mobile devices, payment cards, and payment information are made available to platforms and automated devices, which can be used to purchase your groceries in the era of smart homes. What’s the appeal? The convenience they bring to your life considering that this information is stored in platforms and devices. However, people do not know what is happening with their data. Can you really trust these devices and platforms? For manufacturers, the main focus of the devices they produce is customer experience and usability. 

But how about security? It is not known how much technology is focused on securing the devices to safeguard users and their data. Moreover, mobile banking applications are provided by financial institutions to learn people’s behavior such as when and where they purchase items. They can also detect patterns outside your standard weekly operations and utilize this data to create individual profiles. 

Banking apps often are more secure than IoT and AI devices and have built-in fraud alerts. With volumes of data available in banking apps, there is incentive for attackers to access and manipulate data, as well as banking institutions and networks. 

2. Healthcare

Security risks are more concentrated at the individual level in healthcare. Many devices are embedded-type devices that can be found in or on our bodies. Common examples include pacemakers or transfusion devices. Despite the benefits they provide to health professionals, the technologies are susceptible to malware due to poor cybersecurity. 

This means the data in those devices can be read and pulled out by third parties. To prevent data breaches and security vulnerabilities from occurring, devices need to have a “level of trust” built into them to prevent unauthorized access, which could result in a life or death situation. For example, a hacker could access a pacemaker and deactivate, thereby putting the patient’s life at risk. 

Additionally, healthcare organizations struggle with managing resources and budgets dedicated to cybersecurity measures are limited, making cybersecurity merely an afterthought, reported Dean Koh of Healthcare IT News, a website on healthcare technology trends. Cylera’s Chief Security Strategist Richard Staynings said in an interview with Koh, “Treat Cybersecurity risk in the same way you treat Patient Safety because the two are inextricably linked in today’s connected digital healthcare environment.”

3. Smart Homes

Smart home devices are capable of predicting a person’s needs and daily patterns by tracking their interaction with the device and recording it. The data is then transmitted to the server. But if the communication link is not secure, then hackers can leverage that loophole to gain access to your home. Apparently, many smart home devices are small so embedding a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is not a priority as it is not cost-effective. Unfortunately, this affects the user in the long run. 

Smart home devices are capable of predicting a person’s needs and daily patterns by tracking their interaction with the device and recording it / Photo by: goodluz via 123RF

 

IoT and AI can speed up and optimize processes, but they came with an unwanted gift— security risks. Manufacturers need to allocate more resources to bolster the security of IoT devices. That way, it could give businesses and users peace of mind.