5 Key Industries That Should Look Into Converged Security
The increasing discussion around security convergence means that more professionals are aware of the link between cyber breaches and physical attacks. However, the widespread vulnerability to a converged security threat is still underestimated in every industry. Converged Security Solutions has listed five key industries that would benefit from a converged security evaluation for the safety of their assets, employees, and customers.
In September, the UK’s Bristol Airport suffered a ransomware-related blackout on their flight information screens. This is an example of a ransomware attack where hackers were impacting operations in real-time in an attempt to extort money. Flight information is one way to disrupt transportation, but as more systems become connected, the ability to interfere with departures and arrivals becomes a real consideration. This not only affects airports, but train stations and ridesharing companies as well.
In March, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint alert reporting that the Russian Government had engaged in cyber activity that targeted energy and other critical infrastructure sectors. Foreign agents and rogue actors represent a real threat to physical infrastructure, often owned and operated by private utility companies. These companies are looking to invest into physical and cyber redundancies to ensure that power is restored to critical parts of the grid in the event of an attack.
While more of our money is transacted digitally, it can always be represented in the form of physical cash. However, the intersection of cyber and physical means that criminals can get away with a cash heist by interfering with cyber systems. US-CERT put out an alert earlier this month regarding the “FastCASH campaign,” a criminal enterprise targeting bank ATMs from the same North Korean hacking group associated with the WannaCry ransomware threat. The attack can fool ATMs into distributing large amounts of cash without notifying the bank of the accurate withdrawal. Increased monitoring of physical cash will become a crucial concern for banking and their related services.
There is perhaps no region on the planet more interested in the Internet of Things than Silicon Valley, which is finding new ways to collect data and offer convenience to households by connecting more common items to cyberspace. The natural testing grounds for these IoT concepts are within the headquarters of both tech giants and startups looking to maintain a cutting-edge profile. However, IoT represents a significant red flag for security experts, who warn that making everything “hackable” leads to security consequences that were once only the real of science fiction. Earlier this year, a Google engineer found a security exploit within the company’s own headquarters that could have left employees locked out of their offices by malicious actors. Smart doors now join thermostats, doorbells, refrigerators, mirrors, and more physical items that can represent a converged security threat.
The healthcare sector is one industry presenting very real fears in the convergence of cyber threats with physical security. Medical devices are increasingly becoming connected in order to allow doctors to monitor patients’ vital signs within a valuable and complete context. But hacking a medical device via a device manufacturer or a hospital system can result in an immediate threat to the safety of a patient or to an entire hospital staff if a backdoor exploit is found. Researchers have started presenting these startling findings at conferences such as Black Hat, which means that healthcare players need to look into how to create a security plan that safeguards the entire system from a cyber intrusion and protects precious life when cyber threats take physical form.
Converged Security Solutions has experts specializing in cyber defense, risk quantification, and physical security services. We offer services as an end-to-end solution or focused on specific threats as needed, to organizations and corporations of all sizes. To start a conversation and learn more about our services, contact us and visit our services page.