Cooperation vital to securing internet of things, says Europol

Europol and EU cyber security agency Enisa have hosted a two-day conference to find ways of addressing the cyber security risks posed by internet-connected devices

Cooperation across different sectors and among different stakeholders is key to securing the internet of things (IoT) a meeting of stakeholders has concluded.

This is one of eight conclusions drawn from a conference of representatives from the private sector, security community, law enforcement, the European Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) community and academia.

The conference was hosted by Europol and Enisa, which have joined forces to tackle the security challenges presented by a wide and diverse ecosystem of up to 20 billion interconnected devices by 2010 and services that collect, exchange and process data to adapt dynamically to a context.

Europol and Enisa believe it is important to understand how these connected devices need to be secured, and to develop and implement adequate security measures to protect the internet of things from cyber threats.

Beyond technical measures, they note that the adoption of IoT has raised many new legal, policy and regulatory challenges, which are broad and complex in scope.

The risk of criminals “weaponising” insecure IoT devices was already identified in the 2014 and 2015 editions of Europol’s Internet organised crime threat assessments (IOCTAs) and in Enisa’s 2016 Threat landscape report.

It became a reality at the end of 2016, with several distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks of unprecedented scale originating from the Mirai botnet.

According to Europol and Enisa, it must be assumed that cyber criminals will develop new variants and enlarge the variety of IoT devices affected by this type of malware.

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