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IOT plays large role in targeted attacks

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Internet-of-things (IOT) IP devices and systems are growing at a rapid pace in SA, but the implementation of adequate security management systems and cyber security is severely lacking.

This is according to Brent Cary, regional sales manager at Genetec, who believes the growing use of IOT devices and security sensors in SA requires unified and extensible open-architecture management.

"The South African market is maturing. With cyber security as a natural and obvious concern, the evolution of the market with new regulations enforced, such as POPI and technology improvements such as IPv6, incredible change is happening rapidly.

"2017 will be a year of awareness about cyber accountability. The burden of responsibility needs to rest with the people who make us think we are secure when in fact we are not. Rising cyber-crime and its increasing threat to businesses has organisations taking direct action to mitigate their risk. This will become 'table stakes' for integrators who are working on projects in critical infrastructure, large-scale enterprise and government projects," explains Cary.

Brent Cary, regional sales manager at Genetec.
Brent Cary, regional sales manager at Genetec.

Most organisations have no automated systems to help operators with scanning multiple security applications, he adds.

Lushen Padayachi, head of Security, BT in Africa, says local organisations' biggest fear is theft of private data. "Digital businesses need to adopt a more proactive approach to cyber security that entails a better understanding of the risks. Although awareness of the threat has never been higher, the majority of businesses do not comprehend the methods and motivations of the attackers or fully understand the scale of this threat. In fact, according to research, 97% of companies surveyed have been the victim of digital attacks, yet only 22% are fully prepared to deal with such incidents in the future."

However, many organisations feel that their response is hampered by regulation (49%), lack of skills and people (45%), reliance on legacy systems (46%), inflexible processes within the organisation (38%) and reliance on third parties (94%), Padayachi points out.

"With data playing such a critical role in the digital business, and the digital economy becoming a significant driver, businesses must be as agile and quick on their feet as their criminal assailants," he notes.

According to the Fortinet Threat Landscape Report Q4 2016, IOT is one of the biggest enablers of cyber-attacks. "The multiple customer engagements and the expanding number of devices and technologies within the IOT space make it a great cyber-attack enabler. In Africa, 36% of vulnerabilities have been noted in the said period. It is quite surreal landscape of the IOT, where regular devices in your home - maybe even toasters someday - become sought-after commodities for cyber criminals around the world," notes the research.

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