Cyber-physical Attacks: What They Are and How to Protect Against Them


Given the continued merging of what’s cyber and what’s physical in our society, cyber-attacks resulting in physical harm are a growing threat. One VP Analyst at Gartner, Katell Thielemann, predicts in her 2019 report that the financial impact of cyber-physical system attacks will reach over $50 billion by 2023. 

What Are Cyber-physical Attacks?

Cyber-physical attacks occur when a hacker gains access to the controls of a physical system. For an example of these attacks, mobile security company Zimperium reported that due to improper validation of the user password, a remote hacker could send unauthenticated commands over Bluetooth that could lock, brake, or accelerate one Chinese company’s electric scooter.

In another instance hackers were able to take control of construction cranes with nothing more than their laptops. 

How to protect against cyber-physical attacks

Both individuals and business should make sure that they are working towards protecting their devices and systems from cyber threats. To start out, cybersecurity company, Cipher has listed some preventative strategies to take:

  • Keep Your Software Up to Date
  • Use Anti-Virus Protection & Firewall
  • Use Strong Passwords & Use a Password Management Tool
  • Use Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Learn about Phishing Scams via email, phone calls, and flyers
  • Backup Your Data Regularly
  • Don’t Use Public Wi-fi

While these strategies may prove useful for your own devices, if you or a loved one is injured as a result of a defective product, contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC to handle your legal concerns.