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Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things


Over the past years, an increase in cyber-attacks has become a severe social problem. The internet has become a fast way of communication between family, friends, organizations amongst many others. With that, criminals have become more adaptable to increase their ability to cause harm. Cyber security has become extremely vulnerable to humans, businesses that facilitates any person with access to the computer or any technology with the intension to cause harm. The rise of new technologies like cryptocurrency and its fact that it is almost impossible to trace because of decentralization (Corcoran, 2018) means that the cyber criminals have quickly adapted and learnt how to exploit and make illegal profits.


Recent researches discovered that age differences play a role in cyber security behaviours and risks. Young people are more likely to affected by cyber-bullying (Simon et al., 2019) than being exposed to phishing attacks than older people of working age and are more likely to share passwords and private information on social media sites.

While older individuals are less likely to protect their electronic devices with PIN codes ( ), they however find themselves under the influence of false adverts offering rewards for compromising security e.g. being lured with free gifts hence installing malware to their devices. In previous years, more than three million children have undergone cyberbullying, a high percentage (95%) reported to have being victims on social networks like Facebook (Tsirtsis et al., 2016).

The perceived relevance of cyber security attacks has an impact on individuals’ actions to report security incidents.

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The different ways people understand, define cyber security must become a priority for concern for interactive systems, training tools and educational materials.

It is common for people to spend frequently if they have access to online payments and other transactional methods thus creating huge costs for themselves. According to (Tsirtsis et al., 2016) people often transfer money in online games and gambling. However, in these transactions, people can spend money through fraudulent transactions, as the services do not clarify to their clients about extra costs. As a result, people with very little experience about these online transactions tend to create unnecessary costs for themselves.

Young individuals exploring the internet face the risk of being exposed to threats from products and services meant for adults. A study in the US showed that at least 75% of teenagers who attempted to buy cigarettes online managed to do so, while previously only about 3% did so in the previous years. While (Tsirtsis et al., 2016) stated that young people do not fully realize that the content on the internet is produced, they end up being exposed to improper content through popup adverts and messages.


Social engineering

As more computers digitalize their operations, a socially engineered attack as stated by (Aldawood, H; Skinner, G., 2019) is “a psychological exploitation which scammers use to skilfully manipulate human weaknesses and carry out emotional attacks on innocent people”. social engineering goes beyond technical vulnerabilities of a user’s system. Users are lured into giving their access credentials to perpetrators who in turn acts as users carrying out tasks without the user’s knowledge. As a result, users are exposed to threats that could disturb information systems, transfer unaccounted funds and stealing private information.

Hacking has become a leading problem in the health sector since 2015. The fallout of the WannaCry attack in 2017, affected at least 200 000 systems in more that 150 countries and around 50 hospitals in the UK were affected directly (Martin G. et al., 2017). A predominant type known as ransomware was used to launch this attack on the health sector which blocked users from accessing their data unless a ransom is paid. The ransom threat affects the health sector more than other sectors in the industry due to poor cyber security measures and experts in cyber security are few therefore their services tend to be expensive for health organizations to pay for.

Employees of an organization can be an extremely high-risk factor. They can introduce threats to organizations with just a few clicks as private information is put available to them. If employees see a chance to make profit or look to get revenge through malicious acts, the privacy of clients’ data and the company’s information is compromised, organizations take a major hit. According to (Ali L. et al., 2017) IBM research in about 350 companies in 11 countries encountered at least 3.79 million average total cost of data breaches, therefore an increased amount of 23% cost of data breach compared in 2013. An increased use of the internet for daily tasks and communication call for concern for more security measure put in place.

IOT insecurities

For industries incorporating IOT services today, the use of IOT makes them a target for hackers. For example, the health sector makes use of connected devices to track and store private data. These devices need a greater level of protection. If not given priority, it can attract more harm as experienced in 2016 when the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre had shut down its network for 10 days preventing staff from accessing medical records unless the hospitals paid ransom (Martin G, et al., 2017). The IOT is popular, its technologies make work places more comfortable improving efficiency and convenience through automation.


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Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things. (2019, Dec 09). Retrieved from

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