4.4 What lessons can be learnt?
The Mirai malware can form a highly sophisticated botnet by exploiting the security weakness of many ill-designed IoT devices. One lesson which must be learnt is to ensure unsecured computing devices aren’t connected to the internet. A connected unsecured computing device will not only harm the security of your own network but can also be used to attack others.
A UK government advisor on internet safety, John Carr, suggested a licensing system for IoT devices, saying he ‘would support the establishment of a new licensing regime to ban unsecure appliances from being hooked up to the web’ (Loeb, 2017). According to an Institution of Engineering and Technology article, ‘the UK government’s new National Cyber Security Centre already assesses certain types of devices, such as smart energy meters, to ensure they are safe from hackers’ (Loeb, 2017). This indicates that the government had already become aware of the need to prevent unsecured computing devices from connecting to the internet.
Another lesson to learn is to properly protect your own network by, for example, checking that a firewall has been correctly installed and set up, being vigilant of cyber-attacks and keeping software up to date.