The Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of devices that are connected to the Internet. Following are the types of ‘things’ connected to the internet:  

  1. Things that collect information and send it on the internet – sensors allow machines to make sense of the world.
  2. Things that receive information and take action on it. – printers, door locks, electric switches etc
  3. Things that do both.

What is IoT security?

Any device that’s connected to the Internet can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. IoT security is the act of securing Internet of Things devices and the networks connecting them. With IoT, data is always on the move. It is being transmitted, stored, and processed. IoT device security must protect systems, networks, and data from a large no of IoT security attacks, which target four types of vulnerabilities:

  • Communication attacks, the insecure data transmission between IoT devices and servers.
  • Lifecycle attacks put the integrity of the IoT device at risk as control shifts to the malware.
  • Attacks on the device software.
  • Physical attacks, which target the chip in the device or the device physically

Risks

1. The Rise Of Botnets and Ransomware

Increasing the amount of  botnets among IoT devices causes a security threat to IoT applications. Hackers can remotely control internet-connected devices and use them for illegal purposes using Botnets. Many organisations do not have solutions to track this.

A ransomware can hack an IoT-enabled camera that captures confidential information from home or the work office. The attackers can encrypt the webcam system and consumers will not be able to access any information. 

2. Large number of IoT Devices

Till now the security was for computers and mobile devices, but with IoT a lot many no of devices are connected through on the internet. All these devices are not secure and can be hacked , disabled. They have limited processing capacity, storage and memory which creates a problem for securing these devices. Thus IoT devices mean increased security vulnerabilities across the enterprise, and it is a growing challenge for security professionals.

3. Infrequent Updates for IoT devices

Software updates ensure that computers and mobile devices are as secure as can be. The devices may have outdated hardwares and softwares. Some IoT devices may not have the amount of software updates like other technologies. Some of them may not have even one update. 

These products may be secure at the time of purchase but become vulnerable to attacks when the hackers find some bugs or security issues. When these issues are not fixed by releasing regular updates for hardware and software, the devices remain vulnerable to attacks. 

4. Lack Of Encryption – Unreliable Communication

Though encryption is used to prevent hackers from accessing data while communicating between devices, it is also one of the leading IoT security challenges. The lack of storage and processing capabilities of devices unlike on a traditional computer increases the possibility of attacks. Unless an enterprise secures the data communication over the internet, the data leak or manipulation pose a threat to the system. 

5. Weak Default Passwords

Many IoT devices come with original default weak passwords. It is recommended that you change the passwords regularly, some administrators fail to take this simple step. A weak and  default credentials could leave an IoT device vulnerable to an attack. Hackers can get access to devices easily with username and default passwords.

6. Unreliable Threat Detection Methods

When there is a large scale of IoT devices, it becomes difficult to monitor all of them. Since the number of devices is increasing significantly, the number of things to be managed is increasing even more. Hence, many devices keep on operating without the understanding of the users that they have been hacked. Hackers can breach common devices such as printers and cameras.The apps, services, and protocols used by IoT devices should be monitored for security. 

7. Phishing Attacks

Phishing is already a security concern across all enterprise technologies, and IoT devices are also vulnerable to these attacks. Hackers could send a signal to an IoT device that triggers exposure of important data. Although it is commonly found security attacks, and it can be stopped by giving education to users.

8. Prediction and prevention of attacks

Hackers are proactively finding out new techniques for security threats. Security professionals need to prevent IoT security breaches before they occur. In such a scenario, there is a need for  learning to predict and prevent new threats.  A robust management system should be present to monitor activity and provide insights into potential threats ahead of time.

Some Preventive measures

  1. Implement automatic antivirus updates
  2. Require strong login credentials
  3. Deploy end-to-end encryption
  4. Make sure the device and software updates are installed on time
  5. Disable the unused features of the devices
  6. Be proactive and predict the threats and fix it.

Conclusion

We have experts in handling IoT Devices and Securing it.  Please feel free to connect with us in case of any issues. 

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