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Companies in Qatar urged to fortify IoT

Companies in Qatar who have adopted Internet of Things (IoT) systems have been advised to secure the same, given that vulnerability to external cyber threats for IoT is relatively higher than traditional IT

Dr Raymond Khoury, executive vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton MENA.
Dr Raymond Khoury, executive vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton MENA.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to gain ground in Qatar, companies are being urged secure their systems, given that vulnerability to external cyber threats for IoT is relatively higher than traditional IT, a recent report has highlighted.

The Booz Allen Hamilton IoT Field Guide also states that industries are moving to IoT at a pace that is far greater than the ability to secure it. Traditional IT systems are generally self-contained and easy to protect. IoT, on the other hand, connects systems with tens of thousands of sensors and other devices around the world, resulting in a much higher variety and volume of potential threat.

According to Kaspersky Labs, Qatar has experienced the most cyber threats in the GCC during the first three months of 2017 where 29.7% of Internet users were affected by online threats while 49.8% of computer users were affected by local threats.

According to Dr. Raymond Khoury, executive vice president and digital practice lead at Booz Allen Hamilton MENA, IoT is fast becoming a part of every industry and nearly every aspect of our everyday lives from connected cars and smart buildings, to intelligent homes and even medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps.

“It is imperative that businesses in Qatar as elsewhere visualise and understand the complex interconnections and intricacies of IoT to help identify where potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities lie so that adequate security efforts can be implemented in time,” Dr Khoury added.

Danny Karam, vice president and digital life platform lead at Booz Allen Hamilton MENA, also believes that it is not enough that organisations discuss cyber threats in the IoT context.

“They must formalise them into clear policies that everyone will follow. This involves considering the real cost, buying hardware from manufacturers that can help scale their IoT systems and incorporating solid fundamental cyber security practices across all levels,” Karam concluded.

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