The tech industry was surprised by the news that Panos Panay, the former head of product at Microsoft, left the company to join Amazon as the head of its product division. Panay was known for his role in creating the Surface line of devices at Microsoft, and now he is in charge of shaping Amazon's "device ecosystem", which includes the Alexa, Echo, and Fire TV brands. Amazon and Panay have not revealed their plans for this ecosystem yet, but the cybersecurity community should be alert.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly, with more and more devices being connected to the internet for various purposes, such as industrial, scientific, medical, or consumer. IoT Analytics predicts that there will be almost 30 billion IoT devices in use by 2027, more than double the number from five years ago. Each of these internet-connected devices poses a potential security risk for the organizations that use them. And even if Amazon and Panay only focus on developing consumer devices, they will still affect the security of other sectors, such as commercial, government, healthcare, education, and so on.
Personal IoT Devices Are Already On Professional Networks
The rise of consumer IoT devices in commercial networks poses a serious security challenge for IT and security teams. Many of these devices, such as Amazon's smart speakers, cameras, and cars, are not designed to be managed and secured by IT, and often operate without their knowledge or approval. According to our analysis, up to 20% of the devices connected to commercial networks are unknown to IT and security teams, and some of them may have a legitimate business use, such as Peloton bikes for patient rehab or Alexa speakers for administrative tasks. However, some of them may also be used for personal or recreational purposes, such as gaming consoles in a police station, which can affect the network performance and efficiency. Moreover, these devices can be exploited by threat actors who can launch sophisticated attacks targeting IoT devices, as reported by Microsoft. Therefore, it is essential for IT and security teams to have visibility and control over the consumer IoT devices operating on their networks, and to implement appropriate security measures to protect them from cyberattacks.
Amazon’s Gain Will Just Increase Security Issues
The security risks of consumer IoT devices are growing every day. Many of these devices can be hacked or used by attackers to access corporate networks. For example, Amazon has sold over 500 million Echo devices since 2014 and plans to launch more innovative products under the leadership of Panos Panay. These products may improve our lives, but they also pose a threat to network security if they are not properly managed and protected.
How can IT security leaders prepare for this challenge? They need to have a clear visibility of all the devices on their network, their location, their activity, and their impact on risk. They need to have tools and policies to discover, monitor, and secure these devices. They need to educate their users about the potential dangers of connecting consumer IoT devices to the network. And they need to stay ahead of the curve by anticipating new threats and vulnerabilities.
Consumer IoT devices are here to stay and will continue to evolve. IT security leaders cannot ignore them or hope they will go away. They need to embrace them and find ways to mitigate their risks. By doing so, they can ensure the safety and integrity of their network and data.
What to Do
If you are concerned about the security risks of IoT devices on your business network, you may want to consult with experts who can help you assess and mitigate those risks. Webcheck Security is a trusted provider of security consulting services, with a team of experienced and certified professionals who can help you with IoT security testing, compliance, and remediation. Whether you need a one-time assessment, ongoing monitoring, or a comprehensive security strategy, Webcheck Security can help you protect your network from IoT threats. Don't let IoT devices compromise your network security. Contact Webcheck Security today and get the help you need from the experts.