Page 13 - DCCIS 2021_23Dec19
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   IoT is growing at a staggering rate. By 2020, the number of Internet connected devices will breach 20 billion, more than double the global population, and it is changing the way people live, do business and even interact with their governments.
As anything attached to a network can be hacked, there are growing fears over security and safety. Consumer privacy and safety can be undermined by breaches on individual devices and connectivity. The wider economy and critical infrastructures can also be attacked by large-scale cyber- attacks launched from massive numbers of unsecured IoT devices.
In collaboration with its Dutch counterpart, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Singapore’s Cyber
Security Agency (CSA) undertook a one-year study on the threat landscape posed by IoT. Published in September 2019, the study, ‘The IoT Security Landscape’ called on governments around the world to step up and play a more active role in tightening legislation and drive the development of standards to improve the security of IoT devices.
The joint study noted, “Since IoT is a global phenomenon and is not limited by national boundaries, it is essential to align country-specific legislation and adopt a coherent global approach to IoT security... We have seen few government-led global initiatives.”
In making their call for change, the study pointed to the massive Internet outage on 12 October2016 when a piece of malware called
Mirai triggered a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack leaving much of the Internet inaccessible in the US east coast.
“Vulnerable IoT devices are deployed fast globally and with unknown lifespan, while... common standards and technical solutions for cyber security in IoT are lacking,” said the joint study. “This creates safety, environmental and social hazards that are not well understood and likely to be unacceptable for society.”
With the exponential growth in the number of IoT devices, there is little time to spare. Certification for IoT devices could be similar to the international ISO 9000 quality management system with some baseline measures such as over-the-air security firmware updates for IoT devices.

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