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Cyber Security Chronicles: Age of Blind Accessibility with No Vision



July 28, 2017

{Chronicle 3} By The CYBER EAGLE (Jeremy Bannister) 

The Information Technology industry is in a major transition state as we move towards the end of the second decade of the millennium in the United States of America. Well, some might say that this industry is always in a transition state or in a constant state of advancement. However, we might be in one of the most important and critical eras of the technology age. How many people are online on a frequent basis in our country? These individuals use the Internet for a wide range of activities ranging from business purposes, entertainment uses, communication needs, and many others. How many different devices can we use to connect to the World Wide Web to carry out the wide range of tasks that make up the average person’s day? With the increase in individual activity online, there also has been an increase of devices that could be used to achieve the activities. Now this increase of activity through different devices has also started to surface in the work place of corporations around the United States. For instance, one employee could realistically bring two to four or five different devices and connect to his/her employer’s company network infrastructure.  This could be accomplished with a mobile phone connection, mobile laptop connection, a smart watch with connectivity capability, tablets, even televisions with online capabilities, and I probably am missing a few with this new explosion of what is being called Io T devices.

                The new explosion of different devices with Web connectivity capabilities has created a great abundance of online accessibility, but this has not come without a price because it has also opened a wide range of security holes and backdoors for hackers to expose with malicious activities aimed at important assets of corporations or even home users. One major problem that is apparent to me is when developers create these devices to achieve mobile accessibility and greater network capabilities, they did not address the security concerns or vulnerabilities that would arise with these new network accessibility capabilities. I believe the rise in cyber-crime to an all-time high can partly be contributed to this rise in accessibility. This left a lot of corporations at greater risk for a crippling security breach or corporation disaster to occur. Now Security professionals are left with the very stressful and daunting task of coming up with solutions for defense plans against these exponential vulnerabilities that are surfacing at a rapid pace because of the mass abundance of devices capable of connecting to the Internet.

                One of the most important aspects that all online users should always keep in mind, whether home users or corporate users. When there are new devices created with the major goal or focus on online accessibility, user convenience and very little if any security focus, it opens up new avenues for hackers to access victims through these creations flaws and vulnerabilities for a malicious online attack. This widens a company’s potential attack surface and adds to the security personnel’s defense agenda, but also opens more security holes for the average home user to worry about. This new accessibility Io T devices should be a major concern for home users probably the most because these devices have been well documented as a cyber-security threat and problem.

                I strongly believe that the home users security concerns and problems do not just stay at the home network either. For instance, what happens if the infected home user happens to work in your corporation and is unaware of the infection or back door opened by a hacker for a future entry. This extends the attack surface for the hacker to target for penetration with the numerous malicious programs aimed at criminal profit and destruction of important assets of victims. Hackers love to embed these malicious programs deep in systems just waiting for the right opportunity to attack. It is a very disturbing fact that there is a great possibility that 5 out 10 home user devices are infected and are being used as a bot to create a future malicious botnet for DOS, DDOS attacks and various other malicious hacker generated attacks.

                Another problem that the creation of these Internet of Things has contributed to is the issue of online user privacy. This has become very evident with the recent information that released claiming the FBI, CIA, and the NSA have found vulnerabilities in certain devices that they can expose to activate the device's cameras, especially certain SMART televisions. Recently I have also heard stories of hackers and the big 3 government agencies activating laptop cameras for the same purposes. I am sure there will be other vulnerabilities that come to the surface with all these new online accessible devices. I believe that there is a very valuable learning tool or lesson that can be taken from this transformation of accessible devices. This valuable lesson is, if you are in any environment, whether it is at home or a corporation, the more accessible devices used online and created for accessibility. They should definitely have the proper security planning and implication prevention methods in place to defend against the newly created Security holes and potential access vulnerabilities that can arise with the creation of these online accessible devices.

                I also believe there is also a solution that could be used to prevent a repeat of the same Io T security situation. This solution includes stricter regulations on the manufacturing and sales of online accessible devices.  One purpose is to make sure every online accessible device created is implemented with security features to protect the user from malicious activities online. It could be similar to the electrical inspections on plugs and other electrical devices. For instance, most laptops and desktops come preloaded with a security program or virus protection program for at least a trial period with the option to renew protection products. If any of you have any stories about these new access devices, proposed solutions, and personal experiences or knowledge about the Io T and SMART devices recent explosion affecting the information technology scene. Do not hesitate share comments, knowledgeable views, and professional experiences with this subject in this latest Security Chronicle about online accessible devices.

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