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Emmy award-winning show Homeland has a shocking scene related to the hacking of IoT devices. The United States Vice President is assassinated by a terrorist group that has hacked into the pacemaker controlling his heart. They acquire the device’s distinctive identification number, remotely seizing control over it and delivering powerful electric shocks to inflict a deadly heart attack.
Although this may sound like a sci-fi plot stretched too thin, brace yourself, for this may happen in real life.
In 2017, the FDA announced the discovery of a serious vulnerability in implantable pacemakers made by St. Jude Medical. In this instance, the transmitter that pacemakers used to communicate with outside services was found to be vulnerable. The monitoring of each patient was facilitated by these pacemakers, which sent information about the patients’ status to their doctors. Attackers were able to change the pacemaker’s operation, drain its battery, and even deliver potentially lethal shocks, if they had access to the transmitter.
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Experts believe that with 5G around the corner, India is expected to see mass adoption of IoT devices, along with a huge rise in cyber attacks.
IoT adoption and cyberthreats
According to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, India is adopting the Internet of Things (IoT) rather swiftly. The Indian IoT market is anticipated to grow from $4.98 billion in 2020 to $9.28 billion by 2025, supported by robust connection and coverage, increased internet penetration, a surge in the adoption of smart applications, new business models, and government initiatives like smart city projects.
The Indian market will benefit from IoT by using a network of intelligent and recognisable devices, appliances, equipment, and machinery to connect, communicate, and manage processes. An IoT ecosystem will begin to take shape as a direct result of an increase in the number of sensors being used in smart appliances and cars.
“5G and IoT Devices together will attract real time behavioral data collection, which will be used for decision making notifications cycle,” said Nikhil Mahadeshwar, founder, Cyber Secured India.
Mahadeshwar warned that this might increase the risk of attacks on IoT devices from the hardware hacking perspective since most of them use various types of API for data exchange and functioning. Vulnerable or deprecated API is one of the threat factors which can compromise data. Network threat is also a cause of concern since wireless penetration, testing hardware and software tools and techniques are always vulnerable to hacking and getting into the network and its connected infrastructure.
There is still no clarity on network forensics when it comes to the 5G network. Will the current network forensics tools and techniques work? A lot of enhancement will be required to detect network-based incidents.
Where there’s threat, there’s security
According to a Research and Market report, the Indian cyber security market was estimated to be worth USD 2.2 billion in FY 2021. During the projection period FY 2023-FY 2027, market growth is anticipated to continue with a CAGR of 8.05% to reach a market value of USD 3.5 billion by FY2027.
Experts believe that the Indian cyber security market would develop significantly over the next five years due to the rising needs for security protocols and procedures as a result of rising data theft.
The IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) operating on local area networks and the internet are also assisting in the expansion of the Indian cyber security market. Another factor supporting the growth of the Indian cyber security market in the forecast period is the expansion of big data analytics and processing to take into account potential future cyberattacks in response to recent attacks.
“Opportunities will increase for hardware penetration testing companies, firewall manufacturing companies, API penetration testers and IoT penetration testers network. Cyber security companies should focus on enhancing the skills of their resources to face the challenges which they will need to face while dealing with 5G and IoT devices,” said Mahadeshwar.