What is the internet of things?

There are now computers in everything, or put another way, everything is now a computer. That’s how cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier described the internet of things (IoT) at a House hearing last year following a major cyberattack on DNS provider Dyn.

As Schneier further explained in the same hearing, a phone is a computer that makes phone calls; a refrigerator is a computer that keeps things cold; an ATM machine is a computer with money inside; a car is not a mechanical device with computers, but a computer with four wheels and an engine.

And all of those computers are connected to the internet, thus the name internet of things. In a nutshell, the internet of things is the world wide web reaching beyond the virtual world of desktop and laptop computers and becoming integrated into the physical world. Continue reading

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Kuperman: home and IoT security will lead the way in the next generation of cybersecurity advances

Unfortunately, it is fair to say that the vulnerabilities of Internet of Things (IoT) are preceding its innovations and utilities. From the hacking of the Ukraine power grid, to last year’s DDoS attack against the Dyn DNS provider, IoT devices are behind security incidents of all sizes.

The IoT industry is exposing how putting connectivity into anything and everything opens up a Pandora’s box of vulnerabilities, and give cybercriminals limitless ways to hurt their victims. One area of concern are smart homes, where a slew of not-so-secure devices are finding their way and exposing their owners to unprecedented threats.

In this month’s interview, Leon Kuperman, CTO of smart firewall manufacturer CUJO, discussed IoT security threats and new approaches to securing the homes of the future. Continue reading

What Mikko Hypponen teaches us about IoT security

Yes, this is going to be another rant about the state of insecurity in the Internet of Things industry. But a good one.

Every once in awhile, I hear someone explain this most critical issue, which has been at the heart of so many security incidents in the past year, in a new, inspiring way. And I feel compelled to unpack and explain it for those who might have missed the important parts.

I had one of those moments of epiphany in this year’s TNW Conference, when Mikko Hypponen, the acclaimed cybersecurity expert from Finnish vendor F-Secure, delivered a speech titled “The Internet of Insecure Things.”

In the speech, Hypponen brushed upon some very interesting topics, including ransomware and IoT security. But there’s only so much you can pack into a 20-minute speech. Here are the key takeaways about IoT security. Continue reading

After the CIA leaks, cybersecurity should be everyone’s business

Last week, WikiLeaks dropped a bombshell on intelligence agencies by publishing a trove of classified documents dubbed “Vault 7.” The revelations gave a damning account of government surveillance powers and hacking capabilities.

It was also a testament to how vulnerable the increasing number of Internet-connected devices we own can make us. And if you think you shouldn’t worry about what hacking capabilities the feds have, think again. Three-letter-agencies aren’t the only ones who are looking for security holes in hardware and software.

As with every hack that makes noise, the Vault 7 leak is associated with new facts, old misunderstandings and some very important lessons. Here’s what you need to know about the latest batch of information that WikiLeaks has spilled into cyberspace. Continue reading

These hacks and data breaches broke records in 2016

cybersecurity data breach hack

We’ve been saying this for many years: This year’s cyberattacks dwarfed last year’s. And in this regard, 2016 was no exception. From online fraud to account takeovers and data breaches, and everything else, attacks were dished out in bigger sizes and higher frequencies than before.

Some trends such as ransomware and DDoS attacks dominated the headlines, but that was not all 2016 had in stock. While experts might differ on which were the biggest hacks of the year, there’s no denying that the following four cases were really unprecedented in their own kind. Continue reading

How to secure your smarthome gadgets

smarthome nest thermostat

The holiday season is a big time for consumer electronics and smarthome gadget sales. With so many advances and innovations that we saw in the Internet of Things in 2016, there’s a likely chance that one of those connected devices has found its way into your home, or that of one of your loved ones, this Christmas.

But while IoT devices make our homes more efficient, drive energy saving and reduce costs, you should also take note that IoT devices are a source of security headaches. A huge number of smarthome gadgets are developed without sound development practices and end up being used for evil purposes. Continue reading

What Bruce Schneier teaches us about IoT and cybersecurity

Bruce Schneier, cybersecurity expert, cryptologist

As if I haven’t said it a million times, IoT security is critical.

But just when I thought I had it all figured out, somebody comes along and sheds new light on this very important topic in a different way.

At a November 16 hearing held by the Congress Committee on Energy and Commerce in light of the devastating October 21 Dyn DDoS attack, famous cryptologist and computer security expert Bruce Schneier offered a new perspective on IoT security, which makes it easier for everyone to understand the criticality of the issue. Continue reading