In today’s electronically “connected” world, the more important Internet of Things (IoT) security becomes for our personal and professional lives and enterprises. According to research, firms who embark on Internet of Things initiatives receive a variety of advantages, such as the ability to join new markets and create new product lines that challenge existing business models and marketplaces. Yet, companies may enjoy significant advantages from the Internet of Things (IoT), the technology’s mass acceptance is not without its drawbacks.
Devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) aim to be as easy to use and connect as possible. At the point of purchase, they may appear to be secure, but hackers may discover new security flaws or vulnerabilities that make them more susceptible. If the IoT devices are not regularly updated, they grow more insecure over time.
The fear of losing connection or access to a device as a result of a cyberattack is becoming more prevalent in the Internet of Things. An IoT development company may suffer broad collateral damage as a result of these incidents, which may be financially catastrophic, image destroying, and brand degrading.
Some of the most critical IoT security concerns and solutions that have already compromised these systems throughout the globe will be discussed in this article.
1. Security is considered an afterthought
An important security concern with the Internet of Things (IoT) devices is that their manufacturers are often negligent when it comes to doing thorough testing and releasing timely software upgrades.
The haste with which new digital technologies are deployed often results in the absence of adequate security safeguards. When it comes to the security of new IoT infrastructure, there are often flaws, as well as holes in securing existing systems that may link to more open settings.
Updates over a shorter length of time are often the only ones that are made available. And, given the fact that device hyperproduction is a fact, they may decide to forego these upgrades in order to concentrate on a new generation of gadgets and encourage customers to switch to them.
Regular automated updates are critical for avoiding IoT security concerns, and they should be performed on a regular basis. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to update the device’s software as soon as vulnerabilities are discovered and some malware assaults become widely distributed on the internet
When it comes to the internet of things security, businesses should take a SecDevOps or DevSecOps strategy. Overall, the concept is that cyber security should be a fundamental component of the development, early planning, and testing processes rather than being a last-minute addition.
2. Encryption of data
As long as a device interacts in plain text, all content that is being shared with a client device or backend service may be intercepted and gathered by a “-Man-in-the-Middle” (MitM). The network traffic may be examined and potentially sensitive information such as login passwords obtained by anybody who is capable of establishing a location on the network route between a device and its destination. In this area, a common concern is the use of a plain-text version of a protocol (for example, the HTTP protocol) while an encrypted version is readily accessible (HTTPS). A Man-in-the-Middle attack is one in which the attacker surreptitiously reads and then relays messages, perhaps modifying the content of the communications, without either party being aware of what is happening.
When transmitting data between IoT devices and backend systems, encrypt data at rest and in transit using standard cryptographic encryption methods and comprehensive lifecycle management procedures to guarantee that users’ privacy is protected and that IoT data is not accessed by unauthorized parties.
3. Inadequate privacy protection
Consumer electronics devices are often used to store sensitive information. Devices that are installed on a wireless network are capable of storing the password for the network in question. Video and audio may be captured by cameras in the location where they are mounted, depending on the kind of camera used. If attackers were to get access to this information, they would be committing a serious breach of personal privacy.
When it comes to sensitive information, IoT devices and connected services should manage it appropriately, securely, and only after receiving authorization from the device’s end-user. Important information should be protected against unauthorized access, storage, or dissemination.
In IoT security concerns, the vendor plays a key role in terms of privacy protection and data security. In addition to an external attacker, a vendor or an associated party may be held liable for a breach of personal information. The vendor or service provider of an Internet of Things device may be able to obtain information about customer behavior without the user’s express agreement for reasons such as market research. Several examples have been reported in which Internet of Things devices, such as smart TVs, have been found to be listening in on discussions inside a family.
4. Poor password hygiene and IoT network access management
Weak password security is a problem for many IT systems, but it is particularly prevalent for Internet of Things devices. The Common Plug and Play Functionality, which is included in the vast majority of IoT units, makes it feasible for many devices to communicate with one another.
A common practice among IoT device makers is to provide their devices with hardcoded, embedded, and default credentials pre-installed. Although it is sometimes intended for the user to change their passwords on the first usage (which seldom occurs), in other circumstances, the credentials are intended to remain permanent. Cybercriminals often take advantage of the default credentials provided by websites.
Effective user and network access control mechanisms are required to mitigate the hazards posed by unsecured – and possibly malicious – IoT devices. Among them are:
Protecting access to a network – Businesses should have insight into the devices connected to their network, as well as the ability to limit network access and prevent traffic to unused ports depending on their business requirements.
The lowest level of privilege – In order to meet business requirements, user rights on IoT devices, as well as access to other IT resources by IoT devices, should be restricted to the absolute bare minimum. When an attacker cannot get access to these systems, the consequences of a breach are minimized to some extent.
Change the factory default device passwords – When it comes to their devices, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) often give default passwords. In order to do this, hardcoded passwords must be removed, a password change must be forced at the device setup, and strong, random passwords must be enforced.
5. The Internet of Things (IoT) security skills gap
Security best practices and fundamental cybersecurity hygiene for conventional information technology systems are reasonably well-known and well-established concepts and procedures. The Internet of Things, on the other hand, is a comparatively recent and quickly growing technology.
In many cases, Internet of Things (IoT) users are unaware of the maximum potential of their gadgets, which means they are unaware of the security threats they face and how they might be misused by an attacker. Due to the lack of this expertise, it is difficult to adequately protect these devices, which causes them to become a significant vulnerability in an organization’s cybersecurity defenses. In order to run and protect their current IoT infrastructure, more than three-quarters of enterprises lack the IoT skills required, yet the Internet of Things is only rising in importance.
To close the IoT security skills gap, a deliberate effort must be made to educate IoT users and security personnel on the security threats and best practices associated with these devices. It is essential that IoT security be a cornerstone of an organization’s risk management plan, including training that is tailored to the sorts of devices that are permitted and utilized in the workplace.
To minimize IoT security concerns, security should be taken into consideration from the very beginning of the design process, with the appropriate specialist expertise being deployed as early as feasible. The longer the process of evaluating, testing, and hardening Internet of Things solutions is allowed to run, the more difficult and expensive it is to do it right the first time.
Further, uncovering major gaps or poor contingency preparations after a breach has occurred may prove to be much more costly than the original breach. As a result, businesses should include security into their operations and use security by design approach in order to adequately safeguard their IoT devices and feel sure about their present and future efforts.
In a matter of years, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will be ubiquitous. Oil was the lifeblood of the twentieth century. The twenty-first century is the century of data and knowledge. The value of the Internet of Things rises as the rate at which data is sent increases. Data from one ecosystem, such as transportation, is used to improve the efficiency of another ecosystem, such as smart cities, resulting in increased efficiency.
Author – Rachita Nayar is a professional writer. She has a penchant for writing and is involved in many projects throughout the world. Currently, she works with Solulab a blockchain, AI, and IoT development company that allows her to explore the domain and hone her skills further by learning about blockchain and spreading the knowledge.