Wednesday 22 May 2019 6:42 pm

IoT cyberattacks could cost UK economy £1bn per year

Cyberattacks targeted at Internet of Things (IoT) devices could cost the UK more than £1bn per year, a new report has warned.

Research from Dutch software firm Irdeto revealed IoT devices are often considered “low-hanging fruit” by cyber criminals, who are taking advantage of lax security measures to disrupt or extort businesses.

Read more: Firms must be more open about cyber attacks, says asset management boss

Respondents who had suffered an IoT-related cyber attack estimated an average cost to their business of £244,000 over the last year, according to the survey, while the most common form of breach was a malware attack.

In addition, more than half of the businesses questions experience a service outage as a direct result of an IoT-related attack, in a sign breaches are becoming more widespread.

The report warned vulnerabilities in devices could pose a serious risk to safety and privacy, particular as IoT products enter critical industries such as healthcare, transport and manufacturing.

“Insecure IoT devices and companion apps are essentially low-hanging fruit for cyber criminals, who are increasingly finding new, creative ways to turn our technological dependence into their own nefarious gain,” said Steeve Huin, vice president at Irdeto.

“It’s clear that, if not addressed, a lack of IoT security could pose a serious financial threat to the wider UK economy. With so many devices entering the market, and being deployed in critical businesses, the need for improved security measures is without question.”

Read more: Government to roll out new cybersecurity laws for IoT products

Cybersecurity experts have warned of the increased threat to businesses as more and more office and household devices are connected to the internet.

Earlier this month the government unveiled plans to introduce new laws to ensure IoT products come with basic cybersecurity features.