Telecoms giants and IT companies come together to form the IoT Cyber Security Alliance

An alliance between major telecoms and IT companies hopes to take measures to protect our electronic devices from the increasing threat of cyber security.

Protection against cyber security attacks - Office Phone Shop

Joined by Nokia, IBM, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, and Trustonic, US telecoms giant AT&T, who are heading up the Alliance, report a 3,198% increase in attackers scanning for vulnerabilities in IoT devices over the past three years.

Whether the device operates Windows or Mac, it doesn’t make a difference where hackers are concerned. They look for vulnerabilities in the most widespread devices and ways to exploit them.

“The explosive growth in the number of IoT devices is only expected to continue; therefore, so must the associated cybersecurity protections,” said Mo Katibeh, AT&T senior vice president of Advanced Solutions. “Today’s businesses are connecting devices ranging from robots on factory floors to pacemakers and refrigerators. Helping these organizations stay protected requires innovation across the whole IoT ecosystem to enable sustainable growth.”

Aims of the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance:

  • Identify security challenges, examining areas such as Connected Car, Industrial Smart Cities and Healthcare. This will inform research for future business challenges and security concerns.
  • To examine IoT security problems at every critical layer, such as connectivity, cloud, and data/application. Experts from the Alliance will help educate businesses and consumers on how to protect their connections.
  • Make security easy to access across the ecosystem, so that users can benefit from innovative IoT services and infrastructures that can withstand the ever-evolving cyber threats.
  • Experts and leaders from across the group will engage with policymakers and other organisations to influence security standards and policies and raise awareness of cyber security issues. Concerns over security often prevent businesses from adopting these emerging IoT technologies, despite the benefits they may bring.
  • The IoT Cybersecurity Alliance hopes to influence the industry in order to maximise the advantages of IoT, whilst at the same time providing advice on how companies and consumers can stay secure.

The Alliance believes the key to IoT security lies in protecting all devices at the endpoint, network, cloud, and application layers. At the same time, studying the overall ecosystem and identifying threats is key to building and designing products that can withstand attacks.

“Be it a connected car, pacemaker or coffee maker, every connected device is a potential new entry point for cyberattacks,” said AT&T Chief Security Officer Bill O’Hern. “Yet, each device requires very different security considerations. It’s become essential for industry leaders and innovators like those in the founding members of this Alliance, to work together to help the industry find more holistic security approaches for IoT.”

Get Complete Protection from Toll Fraud Attack

Hackers can target any business telephone system, whether a traditional analogue or digital PBX or an IP PBX business telephone system. Once access has been gained, the hackers are able to make outbound calls to anywhere in the world. Fraudulent calls, connected over time, will continually build up call charges, usually not discovered until the company receives their bill. The cost of these calls falls to the owner of the phone line connected to the system from where the call has originated.

Known as toll fraud, phone phreaking or telephony fraud, this is the most common security problem in the telecommunications industry. According to the Communications Fraud Control Association’s (CFCA) Telecoms Fraud Survey, toll fraud in the UK costs businesses £1.2 billion each year; and the UK is the third most targeted country in the world.

Ignoring the risk of toll fraud attacks can come at great cost. In contrast, complete 24-hour protection can be setup simply and costing very little.

Office Phone Shop offer customised toll fraud protection to best suit your business needs and requirements.

Our robust solution monitors activity 24/7, instantly detecting any suspicious call activity. The result is either one of two automatic email alerts: an ‘alert only’ sent to designated recipients, or in more severe cases, an ‘alert and block’ which prevents any further call activity until the system is reset. The emails provide information explaining the reasons for considering the call suspicious. Once checked, if the call activity is legitimate, we can lift the restriction to allow business communications to continue as normal.

For peace of mind and to find out more about how Office Phone Shop can provide 24/7 complete security against future toll fraud attacks, call 01892 514687 and ask to speak to one of our UK business consultants.