IoT-connected Devices Are Increasing Cyber Risk Exposure

October 19, 2018

Due to rapid advancement and increasing dependence on technology, businesses in many different industries are now recognizing their need for increased cyber security protection. Companies today realize that, if they use technology to conduct business, they are increasingly vulnerable to cyber security threats. And the rapid evolution of IoT-connected devices is magnifying cyber risk exposure, which in not surprising when you consider that some 50 billion devices may be connected by 2020.

Smart devices connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) exponentially increase cyber hacker access points, creating significantly more risk for companies. These attacks create a cascade effect that many businesses have yet to fully understand. For example, a temperature-monitoring device on a refrigerated truck that results in a system breakdown and damaged goods, can be caused by a cyber breach. Or consider the possibility of a breach with devices like pacemakers and defibrillators that are accessible over the Internet. Since additional risk is generated by IoT-connected devices, a risk assessment should be conducted before IoT technology is purchased and implemented. The return on investment with some devices may be offset by the possibility of cyber-attack, or the increased costs in security software and management.

As more of our world becomes digital, crime that was once conducted in the physical “real world” has now become the domain of cyber criminals. Preventing damage from these threats requires companies to prepare for them in advance, both tactically and strategically, as cyber criminals become increasing more sophisticated with their methods. In the future, businesses should prepare for further surprises as hackers continue to adapt and expand their activities. Business owners and executives will need to invest in both leading edge cyber security solutions and cyber liability insurance to ensure the ongoing success of their operation.

For more information on cyber-related risks and cyber liability insurance, contact us at Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA). With over 5,000 colleagues in more than 75 office locations, MMA can help organizations with all their risk management needs.