Cyber Security

The rising role of IT in physical access control

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Cyber-attacks are one of the defining security threats of our age and cybersecurity a growing priority for business and governments alike.

The internet’s transformation of both our personal lives and the world of commerce has created boundless opportunities for hackers with a wide range of motives and an even broader array of tools. From phishing and clickjacking to ransomware, direct-access attacks and denial of service attacks (DoS) the threats keep on evolving and emerging. It’s a game of cat and mouse as the criminals become more sophisticated and cyber security professionals try to keep up.

The stakes are high. Lloyd’s of London has warned that a major cyber-attack could wreak havoc that costs as much as £92bn to remedy – more than the repair bill for Hurricane Katrina, costliest natural disaster in UoS histry. And ‘destruction of service’ attacks could “disrupt the internet itself” and destroy businesses in one fell swoop, according to research from Cisco.

The GDPR, which comes into force across Europe in May 2018, raises the stakes further still. The fines for data protection breaches – including deficient cyber security protections – will be 79 times higher than under the previous regime: €10 million (£7.9 million) or 2% of an organisation’s global turnover.

A government survey of the FTSE 350 has revealed 68% of board members have not been trained to deal with cybersecurity incidents, potentially leaving their businesses in danger.

If the ubiquity of smartphones have created even more opportunities for criminals, then the internet of things has ramped up the threat further still, with everyday household objects now connected to the internet. In 2016, some 1.5m IoT devices – mostly security cameras – were hijacked during a DDoS attack. Even our cars are becoming vulnerable.

Building systems are also increasingly network-connected too, so even buildings can be hacked. Physical security professionals need to get to grips with cybersecurity too.

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