The rising threats of IoT devices to election, healthcare, and energy infrastructure

Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as fitness trackers and home security cameras are growing in popularity. Still, many people don’t realize that these devices can also be used to attack critical infrastructure. In 2017, a group of hackers used IoT devices to launch a massive attack on the internet infrastructure provider Dyn, and they were only able to do this because they could exploit devices that were using default passwords.


As more and more IoT devices are released, the number of potential attack vectors is growing exponentially. A recent study found that the number of IoT devices will exceed 30 billion by 2020 and that many of these devices will need more security features. This means that hackers will have an even easier time launching attacks against critical infrastructure.


Some of the most vulnerable sectors include election systems, healthcare providers, and energy companies. Election officials are already beginning to worry about the potential for cyberattacks that could interfere with the voting process. Healthcare providers are at risk of having their patient data stolen, and energy companies are at risk of having their systems hacked and sabotaged.


The good news is that some steps can be taken to mitigate the risk of IoT-based attacks. For example, companies can enforce strong password policies and ensure that devices are updated with the latest security patches. Additionally, it is crucial for people to be aware of the potential risks associated with using IoT devices and to take steps to protect their devices from hackers.


In the face of the ever-growing threats posed by IoT devices to election, healthcare, and energy infrastructure, it is more important than ever for governments, businesses, and individuals to be aware of the dangers and take steps to mitigate them. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem, by being aware of the risks and taking steps to secure devices, networks, and data, we can help to make these critical systems more resilient to attack.

Pete Slade
March 10, 2022