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Showing posts tagged with Internet of Things
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Straners | 29 May 2014 | 0 comments

All too often, technology is subject to the law of unintended consequences - a great, positive example is SMS, which was originally planned as a tool for maintenance alerts. Less positive is the exploitation of the humble macro system in documents and spreadsheets, or the use of email for social engineering attacks. 

Designers of such features can say they weren’t supposed to be used like that, but the fact is that when a new innovation arrives, people will start taking it in unexpected directions. We’ve seen this most recently with mobile technologies yielding Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), the various benefits being tempered by consequences such as manageability and security. 

One of the more interesting parts of my job is asking what is coming next, and what the impacts - positive and negative - might be. A particular area of interest (and concern) is the Internet of Things (IoT), a term being used to describe what happens when...

Paul Wood | 08 Apr 2014 | 0 comments

In security as in business, information is power. As we put together the latest edition of the Internet Security Threat Report, we wanted to do more than simply throw some figures out there. As a result, Volume 19 presents a comprehensive analysis of last year’s threats according to publicly available information and events within Symantec’s purview, as well as detailed guidance about what security professionals can do in response. 

At the top level of the report, the main finding was a rapid and significant increase in breaches leading to the exposure of individual identities - employee, customer and patient details. Overall a total of 552 million identities were exposed, across 253 significant security breaches. 

Just as significantly, many of these breaches took place in the final quarter of the year, suggesting that we are at the beginning of a slew of such attacks - one of the reasons we felt pressed to include detailed advice in...

msmart007 | 02 Apr 2014 | 1 comment

Microsoft’s decision to switch off all support for Windows XP, some dozen years after it first made its entrance, is a momentous one. Those who have doggedly stuck by this much loved operating system, failing to be enticed into the arms of Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, will receive no further free updates or security patches (as of April 8, 2014).  

Lots of software goes down the end-of-life path, of course, and disappears into the mists, to be replaced by the latest updates. But, to paraphrase a major retailer’s advertising slogan, ‘This is no ordinary software. This is XP software’ – an OS that, by latest calculations, is still run by something like a quarter to one-third of desktops globally. And waiting in the dark corners for the plug to be pulled have been the cyber criminals, ready to leap in and exploit the situation. In fact, they...

D Thomson | 28 Mar 2014 | 0 comments

I believe that the IT industry will, in the future, hold far more responsibility for radical changes to culture and society than ever before. The Internet of Things (IoT) will see humanity take a new foundation on which to build things (the Internet) and start to create architectures and services that fundamentally change the way we live our lives. Just in the past few weeks, I have spoken to entrepreneurs and large businesses that are seeding technological concepts that could, eventually, touch all of us in very meaningful and real ways. It is difficult (especially for a technologist like me) not to get excited about self-driving cars that learn from each other, connected homes that allow us to remotely monitor and control our personal spaces and smart meters that have a profound impact on a nations energy consumption. But, as I have discussed before, there are likely to be unintended consequences to all of these ideas that technologists (even the really clever ones) are likely to...

D Thomson | 12 Feb 2014 | 0 comments

It’s still early days for the Internet of Things (IoT). While some are suggesting a complete revolution in 'smart' physical objects which will change our lives, I don’t think anyone will notice that much of a difference in the short term. Even so, over the next couple of years we will see all kinds of new devices connect to the internet, from plug sockets to plant pot monitors.

Each becomes not just a data source but also, potentially, a controllable device - and as such has a potential security impact. For a start, smart devices inevitably create data, which may need to be protected depending on the risks that surround it. Risk factors may not always be obvious - for example, burglars might be able to hack into a lighting control system to determine if a building is empty, before breaking and entering.

Speaking of which, we have the fact that smart devices are, in fact, tiny computers which can be hacked, corrupted or otherwise abused. We’ve...

Symantec Analyst Relations | 23 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

This Blog was originally posted in Security Response.

Could your baby monitor be used to spy on you? Is your television keeping tabs on your viewing habits? Is it possible for your car to be hacked by malicious attackers? Or could a perfectly innocent looking device like a set-top box or Internet router be used as the gateway to gain access to your home computer?

A growing number of devices are becoming the focus of security threats as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality. What is the Internet of Things? Essentially, we are moving into an era when it isn’t just computers that are connected to the Internet. Household appliances, security systems, home heating and lighting, and even cars are all becoming Internet-enabled. The grand vision is of a world where almost anything can be connected—hence the Internet of Things.

Exciting new developments are in the offing. A...

D Thomson | 14 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

Having conducted my entire career in the world of information technology, I (like the majority of my peers) am very used to and inspired by questions that begin with “could we..?”. The technology arena exists, is focused on and is inspired by the art of the possible. We never cease to amaze ourselves with what can be achieved over time as the principles of Moore’s Law deliver us more and more computing power and our imaginations are left to run riot.

30 years ago we marveled at the ability to hand-off complex business process to ERP systems, 20 years ago the internet took hold and we marveled at the prospect of accessing more information than was ever thought possible and 5 years ago the world of mobile communications got “smart” and manufacturers started to deliver powerful computing to the palm of our hands...

Now the “Internet of Things” has appeared and the prospect of “connecting everything” has us IT-types “Imagineering” again (love that word! – thanks Disney)....

D Thomson | 06 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

Identity management was never easy. The basic need for identity is that of ‘non-repudiation’ - assurance that a person is who they say they are - as used to authenticate and authorise individuals to use IT resources, or enable access to web sites and services.

Things such as a login names, pins and passwords are examples of mechanisms that allow us to establish digital ‘identity’ today. For computer users and system managers, the difficulty has always been keeping tabs on all the different login details, number-generating dongles, and swipe cards and so on. The domain of "identity management" (the umbrella term for tools that help manage multiple identities, across multiple systems) is focused on helping with these issues. 

So far so good, but I’m wondering if these ideas are thrown out f the window by the current trend - the Internet of Things (IoT), which enables a wide variety of devices and physical objects to connect to the Internet. 

For...

Sian John | 02 Jan 2014 | 0 comments

Based on discussions we are having across our customer base, we know that the Internet of Things (IoT) is a growing phenomenon. It’s not particularly new - after all, organisations have been monitoring the state of their buildings and equipment, and managing where things are in the supply chain, for many years now. What’s changing is the range and scale of physical objects that we’re starting to see connected, from air conditioning units to office doors. 

From our perspective of course, we are very interested in what this means in security terms. So, should organisations allow increasing numbers of devices and objects to connect to the Internet, or block all attempts to do so? From our perspective, the answer lies in being aware of the risks of doing so, and acting accordingly. 

As a starting point, we believe the challenges lie in misusing what is likely to mean a major new entry point to the organisation. We already have a major...

GregDay-SecurityCTO | 08 Mar 2013 | 0 comments

The Internet of Things (IoT) took another step forward, as standardisation body OASIS formed a committee to enable the adoption of Messaging Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) for machine to machine (M2M) communications. 

MQTT is a small-footprint messaging protocol designed to enable low-power devices to exchange information. Such standards matter as they accelerate technology creation and adoption, by reducing development costs and increasing interoperability. In layperson's terms, the easier it is for devices to talk to each other, the more they will do it.

IoT is very interesting to us at Symantec, most importantly because it will have a dramatic impact on the way we all use technology. The EU's Neelie Kroes suggested that up to 50 billion devices could be connected to the Internet by 2020, from pallets to fridges. Indeed, the number of '...