Cyberattacks: the time bomb of connected objects

  • Study estimates cost of cyberattacks at $10.5 trillion per year by 2025
  • Connected objects are particularly vulnerable
  • The arrival of AI such as ChatGPT may complicate things

This is a worrying number to say the least. Researchers from the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) claim in a study that if the current growth rate continues, the value of damage caused by cyberattacks will stand at around $10.5 trillion per year by 2025 , against “only” 3000 billion in 2015. This represents an increase of 200% in ten years.

Among the causes of this skyrocketing, scientists particularly cite the democratization of the Internet of Things (IoT) which are often very poorly protected and include major security flaws. In particular, we know that many people do not change their passwords on these devices.

A project to better secure connected objects

The UOC researchers point out that there were 9.7 billion connected objects in 2020 in the world, and that current estimates expect this number to triple by 2030.

Therefore, David Megías, director of the Interdisciplinary Internet Institute (IN3) of the UOC and his colleagues advocate a sustainable and more secure approach to these connected devices. The SECURING project was launched to design new techniques for detecting and preventing intrusions. The idea is to put in place durable protection protocols in order to better protect the privacy of users.

ChatGPT could help cybercriminals

Beyond connected objects, this figure for the overall cost to the economy also concerns ransomware attacks and phishing campaigns, which are on the rise. In this respect, things should unfortunately not improve with the arrival of AI tools like ChatGPT.

As we told you about recently, IT specialists fear that these language models are used by cybercriminals to write phishing emails. The latter would be relatively credible and without the slightest spelling error.

Similarly, ChatGPT could help these bad actors learn coding skills and better plan their ransomware attacks, experts say. There is therefore a clear urgency to regulate these new technologies. Besides, AI could also be used to better counter these new forms of piracy.

Awareness is in any case necessary, otherwise the economic damage of cyberattacks will be colossal, as these grim forecasts by researchers remind us.

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