If digital transformation is all-encompassing, cybersecurity must be too

March 26, 2021

Our lives are becoming increasingly digitised – there is little in our personal or work life that hasn’t been shaped by digital transformation over the past decade. From connected vehicles to fitness wearables to remote working, we are becoming increasingly interconnected. And if this is just the beginning of the Internet of Things boom, it also needs to be the start of a cybersecurity overhaul.

According to CSO Online, cyberattacks targeting a variety of IoT devices tripled from previous numbers in the first half of 2019. Now, almost two years on, the amount of IoT or Smart devices has proliferated (think about the amount of fitness trackers or Smart doorbells alone). It is almost impossible to imagine what that figure must be now.

IoT devices are rarely built with security in mind, making them inherently insecure and creating a persistent cyber threat. While there’s no question that IoT devices and digital transformation is the way of the future, cyber attacks will no longer just jeopardise privacy, but also physical security.

Major changes in city living and mobility are on the way, such as connected and autonomous vehicles or Smart infrastructure. As autonomous bus fleets or drone deliveries become common, securing the communications between these machines and the surrounding infrastructure will be key to protecting the devices and the people around them. If not, there is a real risk of deadly collisions, hijackings or other serious consequences.

Lindy Cameron, the CEO of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, highlighted as much in her recent speech, noting that protecting critical infrastructure from cyberattackers needs to be an ongoing priority. An alumni of NCSC’s Cyber Accelerator, ANGOKA’s work addresses this issue directly, providing the last line of defence against cyber criminals seeking to disrupt the crucial communications between IoT devices.

The world is changing rapidly, as people and communities adapt to new digital offerings. Protecting the Smart and IoT devices that are shaping tomorrow is a critical first step to a new digital era.

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