The growing interconnectedness created by Industry 4.0 and the IoT has led to an increase in the number of potential targets for attacks by cybercriminals. For this reason, companies need to continuously put their IT security to the test, while keeping an eye on four areas.
According to a report from the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the risk posed to computers, smartphones and IT systems by cyberattacks grew significantly in 2016. Criminals are increasingly using the weak points in software and devices in order to steal information, sabotage business and administrative processes, and get rich. The dangers posed by blackmail programs in particular – “ransomware” that is used to encrypt data and then only release it in exchange for a ransom – have significantly intensified.
The breeding ground for developments like these is the increasing digitalization and interconnectedness accompanying developments like the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and the “smart everything” trend. They provide cybercriminals with new targets on an almost daily basis – from IP cameras to connected coffee machines to production machines equipped with sensors. One major source of problems is botnets, which are networks of thousands of devices that carry out DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service attacks) that target one point in a company. They can mean that your online shop no longer functions, supply chains are interrupted, or management elements within production chains are incapacitated – which can also endanger employees in a worst case scenario.
All network-capable devices must be secure
A French web hosting service was the victim of the worst deliberate server overload caused by a DDoS attack, which also lead to a server failure. This cyberattack reached a volume of up to 1.1 terabytes per second. This led to the company stepping up its investments in IT security – because classic defensive measures were also losing their effect.