Big data security needed as 80% of devices ‘at risk’

An entirely new approach to internet security is needed to protect businesses and consumers as new research suggests up to 80% of connected devices are vulnerable to malicious attacks and data breaches.

Research by Irish company AdaptiveMobile found 80% of devices are at risk. This shows the need for ‘big security’ to be introduced to accommodate the huge projected growth in the internet-of-things, it says.

Current security solutions won’t be strong enough to facilitate such an explosion in the number of devices, according to AdaptiveMobile’s chief technology officer Ciaran Bradley.

“The concerning thing is when we look at the internet-of-things we’re talking about billions of sensors so if we were to take the current lax approach to security and transfer that across to the growth that’s predicted for these billions of sensors then we could have a significant problem on our hands and that’s the problem that we’re highlighting.

“The current lax approach where security is very much an afterthought for a lot of the current generation of internet-of-things, devices out there, in our opinion, the industry won’t be able to get away with that when it comes to the future.

“There’s an awful lot of people predicting massive growth and massive revenue opportunities through these billions of sensors but that’s just never going to materialise if they’re proven continuously to be having security issues or privacy issues,” Mr Bradley said.

Whereas powerful devices such as laptops and smartphones are protected with ‘end-point’ products like anti-virus or firewall software, the new wave of sensors won’t have the computing power to run such protections. Instead, a ‘big security’ approach where data continuously flows from sensors and devices, in homes, for example, will be needed.

“When you start looking at all these sensors … [they] aren’t going to be very powerful devices and won’t have expensive processors, memory or even hard-disk storage in them.

“Those devices just won’t be capable of running today’s equivalent of putting anti-virus on devices or software firewalls. So what we see looking out there and what we think is a more viable approach is what we call ‘big security’.

“We see that as a concept of big data systems using a lot of analytics running off the cloud but using security algorithms to detect anomalies and protect these devices.

“As much as possible you want to detect those anomalous patterns that can give you an early indication of compromise; so you can have those pre-emptive strikes but you need to do it by using smart intelligence running in a cloud that is able to get lightweight telemetry and lightweight info running back from those sensors because you just won’t be able to run that security intelligence on the sensors themselves,” Mr Bradley said.

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