Internet of Things hacking: World Economic Forum warns of “global threat”

The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks report has highlighted risks inherent with Internet of Things style connected devices.

The report called for industry and regulatory bodies worldwide to provide “effective governance” to minimize the potential for Internet of Things hacking, reports Computer Business Review.

“While the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) will deliver innovations, it will also entail new risks. Analytics on large and disparate data sources can drive breakthrough insights but also raise questions about expectations of privacy and the fair and appropriate use of data about individuals,” the report explained.

Gizmodo points to last year’s report, which provided warnings of cyberattacks “at the enterprise level” as reason warnings from the World Economic Forum should be taken seriously, stating such a prediction was “similar to something we saw with Sony later in the year.”

The report is completed by the 900 members of the World Economic Forum’s global community, and highlights the growing interest around the connected car as reason to be cautious: “Security risks are also intensified. There are more devices to secure against hackers, and bigger downsides from failure: hacking the location data on a car is merely an invasion of privacy, whereas hacking the control system of a car would be a threat to life. The current Internet infrastructure was not developed with such security concerns in mind.”

In dealing with the threats, the WEF encouraged “proactivity,” “effective governance” and “global cooperations”, all of which will “determine how well risks from emerging technologies are foreseen and minimized.”

It is not the first time the security and privacy implications of Internet of Things style internet connected devices has come under scrutiny. Just last week, the Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, Edith Ramirez, offered her own stark warnings about the risks in new technology.

“We absolutely recognize that the Internet of Things has the potential to provide significant benefits to consumers, but it’s also important to be mindful of the significant privacy risks. As you have more devices connected to the Internet, you have more entry points for potential intrusion,” Ramirez said.

“There’s a way to approach these issues that’s going to be thoughtful and going to be balanced. I also think that [pushing for privacy and security is] going to engender consumer trust and will only help new industries like the internet of things to flourish,” she added.

Author , ESET

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