Internet of Things: Connected devices at risk for malware, privacy violations

There must be a balance between the promise of new Internet of Things (IoT) tools and devices and the need for robust security and data privacy, according to a new report.

For the report, Intel Security and Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative gathered government, medical and security specialists to create guides for trust and innovation for connected medical devices.

Connected medical devices help patients and their caregivers better monitor their health. That kind of real-time monitoring lets patients receive feedback and alerts more quickly, the report says.

IoT is already creating new care models, improving patient experiences and driving efficiency in providers' business operations, according to new data from another recent IoT report from Verizon. 

That report says the overall number of IoT connections is predicted to more than quadruple between 2014 and 2020 to about 5.4 billion.

However, the benefits of networked devices will mean little without putting the proper security in place, according to the Intel report. Security officials and healthcare organizations must take the correct steps to prevent future attacks.

Networked devices are at risk for the following, according to the Intel report:

  • Accidental failures: Failures in the technology can destroy trust of consumers and prevent tools from making it out of the production process.
  • Privacy violations: Connected devices store sensitive data, and since IoT is relatively new, malicious attacks are hard to predict.
  • Widespread disruption: Connected devices are susceptable to malware, which could be used to search out and infect them.

To better protect networked devices, those surveyed for the report say the industry should take three steps: Stress security from the start; improve collaboration between public and private sectors; and introduce an independent voice for the public in discussions about cybersecurity.

To learn more:
- check out the report (.pdf)