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Is Your Watch Giving Away Your Business Secrets?

Smart phones, watches, televisions and fitness trackers could all be vulnerable to ransomware. Cyber Security

Devices holding emails, photos, even fitness information could all be targeted cyber security experts have warned.

The National Crime Agency and the National Cyber Security Centre warn that the risk to business is significant and growing, becoming more frequent and aggressive.

Devices containing sensitive or personal data the people consider to be valuable enough to pay for are most likely to be targeted by cyber criminals.

These devices often have very limited security built in, causing them to become even more vulnerable.

The agencies say, "This data may not be inherently valuable, and might not be sold on criminal forums but the device and data will be sufficiently valuable to the victim that they will be willing to pay for it."

"Ransomware on connected watches, fitness trackers and TVs will present a challenge to manufacturers, and it is not yet known whether customer support will extend to unlocking devices and providing advice on whether to pay a ransom."

On a larger scale, the report raises concerns about the development of criminal gangs to use the same high-tech tools to target financial institutions.

Criminal gangs could have the ability to carry out ransomware attacks on smaller businesses and the general public by downloading more basic software that doesn't require as much technical ability.

The scale of the problem

By 2020 it's estimated that over 21 billion devices used by businesses and consumers worldwide will be connected to the internet.

With this surge of connectivity, cyber attacks would continue to evolve, meaning that public and private sectors must continue to work to reduce the threat.

The report also highlights how many cyber attacks go unreported in the UK, so there is no clear understanding of the true scale of cyber crime.

The NCSC reported that there were 118 'high-level' attacks as well as 'countless' lower-level incidents in just 3 months.

Director for economic and cyber crime at the NCA, Donald Toon, said that devices that helped businesses control operations remotely had an online capacity built into them.

"They're mass produced and the security may not be particularly good."

"Businesses often don't change the basic security software that's in there, or change the passwords."

If you need cyber security support and advice, contact our specialist Information and Cyber Security experts.

Source: BBC News


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