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IoT security: Why it will get worse before it gets better

There are billions of connected devices in use around the world, in our homes, our offices, even inside our bodies as medical devices are connected to an ever-growing internet of things (IoT).

Vendors rush to add to the range of devices available, with many looking to gain a hold in the market as quickly as possible, delivering cheap, easy-to-use devices into the hands of users.

But this rush to market often comes at a cost, with cyber security often given little or no thought as manufacturers look to be the first to offer connected devices. That has often led to devices hitting the market and selling in large numbers of units, only to be discovered to be completely insecure.

Devices ranging from IP cameras, to children's toys and smart home hubs have been found to contain significant vulnerabilities which can be exploited to spy by using the IoT device as an entry point into the wider network for committing other cyber crimes. The sheer number of insecure IoT devices on the market was also a key factor behind the Mirai botnet attack of late-2016, which spearheaded a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that affected large sections of the internet.

That incident showed the damage insecure IoT devices could do -- and governments around the world have since started examining how to ensure connected devices are better secured.

Last month Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, and ENISA, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security, held their IoT security conference at Europol's headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands to discuss the problem with industry -- and how to go about secu...

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