Intel’s global security division head warned of increased vulnerabilities that could put users’ lives at risks with the increasing number of smartphones synced with home appliances and software-driven cars. Intel Security Group General Manager Chris Young told these warnings to The Australian Financial Review during his visit to Australia.
More devices coming online
Young said the relentless rise in cyber-threats accompanies the rise of connectedness. Such threats not only target broader vulnerabilities in the systems but also threaten the physical safety of citizens. Young said that it is not just hacking and data breaches that need to be checked but rather, assets that are being attacked should be taken care of as well.
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“And we’re ultimately moving towards the challenges of physical safety as we think about connecting vehicles to the internet of things. This is a serious macro trend,” Young said.
Devices are getting connected at a rapid pace. Gartner, the technology analyss firm, predicts 6.4 billion “things” will be connected online by 2016, providing cyber-criminals with thousands more vulnerable entry points than before. According to Gartner, there will be 20.8 billion objects online by 2020, and around 5.5 million new things will come online on a daily basis.
How Intel plans to tackle such threats
With the advancement in connecting software, cloud technology and communications cyber-security have evolved alongside. Young believes the best way to combat malware or infections is to get the basics right and becoming informed about the various devices being used. Consumers are not doing enough for their protection and are not taking full advantage of the basic security tools available to them, the Intel executive said.
Young advised businesses and consumers to patch their systems and update their software. Also they should remain overly cautious about where they shop online or what they click on. But as we move towards more non-traditional devices, the security responsibility will eventually rest with the device provider, Young said.
“It will be a closed ecosystem, not dissimilar to the app store today, where everything needs to run through Apple to run on their devices,” Intel executive said.
Intel Security Group, which offers a variety of enterprise security products and services, was created after the chip maker acquired the security firm McAfee in 2011.