As homeowners, whenever we think of the Internet of Things (IoT), we experience the sweet frenzy of better possibilities of interconnected home devices.
But this massive interconnected ecosystem of all of our devices is only trouble in disguise.
Not every tech that sits in our homes offer the same amount of security. The vulnerable ones can act as backdoors to other more secured devices, eventually comprising all of them (more on that later). And guess who likes to take advantage of these vulnerabilities? All the malicious internet users and hackers.
What is IoT?
IoT entails connecting a system of interconnected computing devices, mechanical and digital machinery, items, animals, and/or people to the internet. Each object owns a unique identification. Each object can automatically send data over a network. These objects are identifiable, readable, and recognizable via the internet.
IoT is an amalgamation of the physical world and the digital. this combines the best of both worlds. It entails physical items conversing with one another, such as machines communicating with machines and machines communicating with people. It includes everything from edge computing to household appliances. this also includes wearable technologies and automobiles. Allowing them to connect to the Internet exposes them to a range of serious dangers.
Given how easy it is to capitalize on these vulnerabilities, many noteworthy attacks have gone down where IoT was at the incident’s centre.
Why does IoT remain largely unprotected?
IoT’s biggest strength is also its greatest weakness. The technology’s ease of connectivity makes it susceptible to cyberattacks. A report by IoT Analytics estimates that the number of connected IoT devices will increase from 21.5 Billion to more than 30 Billion by 2025. It means the average person will own four IoT devices.
Securing these many devices over a vast network is no small feat. Every object follows its predesigned safety protocols. Securing them, therefore, becomes even more difficult. Laptops, desktops, cellphones and tablets, networked cameras and storage devices, and streaming video devices are a few of the most susceptible IoT devices.
Most IoT devices do not run on a sophisticated operating system, nor do they possess dedicated internal storage or memory. Smartphones and laptops are the apparent exceptions. Securing these devices via standard techniques such as antivirus, firewalls, and other security techniques thus becomes difficult.
Many IoT manufacturers focus on producing as many gadgets within a short period. They do not give any attention to the security of these devices. They are much too reckless when dealing with the security of these devices.
The majority of these devices and IoT items receive insufficient upgrades, and others do not receive crucial security patches at all. It implies that a device formerly deemed safe when originally purchased becomes less secured over time.
It was an issue with early computer systems, which got somewhat remedied by automated upgrades. Since these devices do not have dedicated operating systems, developing periodic updates for each device is not feasible. Also, most of these devices run on legacy systems, which leads to a similar problem.
Data is processed and sent by every IoT device. Apps, services, and protocols are required for communication. And unsecured interfaces are the source of many IoT security updates. Some of the most prevalent interface flaws are inadequate device authentication and poor or no encryption.
How do hackers benefit from IoT?
The numerous flaws of IoT attract hackers and other nefarious actors who look to exploit these flaws for their benefit. The current generation of IoT devices is vulnerable to Denial of Service malware attacks, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, Zero-day exploits, and Structured Query Language injection (SQLi controls a web application’s database server). Threat actors use strategies involving these techniques.
In 2017, around half a million pacemakers were recalled because they posed a risk of being easily hacked. Fears over their inadequate cybersecurity may be exploited to drain the batteries or even change the patient’s heartbeat prompted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action. The FDA feared that the pacemaker’s battery could be run down or reprogram the pacing of the heartbeat, causing a patient’s death.
More recently, a 19-year-old security researcher hacked remotely into more than 25 Tesla vehicles. He exploited the security flaw in the car’s software which allowed him to unlock doors and windows, start the cars without keys and disable the security system of each car.
Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities as ransomware to extort money from the victims. They may also exploit these vulnerabilities on a much grander scale to harm the business. Such cyber attacks disrupt business operations and compromise customer data and security. These hacks can also lead to significant financial losses and damage the reputation of a business.
How can we minimize such IoT attacks?
Implementing IoT security solutions can drastically minimize most of the security concerns. We will need to focus on end-to-end cyber security solutions. We will also need to be aware of all critical device security concerns that device management addresses. These systems can help with asset provisioning, firmware updates, security vulnerabilities, alerting, and reporting on particular IoT data. IoT security is a technology area dedicated to securing the internet of things linked devices and networks.
We need to establish specific compliance and privacy guidelines that redact and anonymize sensitive data. We need to follow this step before storing data that may identify us.
Data that has been cached but is no longer needed should be disposed of safely. The most challenging part will be adhering to numerous legal. And regulatory systems once the data gets saved. Mobile, online, and cloud apps and services that access, manage, and analyze data linked with IoT devices should follow the same guidelines.
Small businesses with limited finances and people may find it challenging to build secure mobile apps and web-based IoT solutions. As previously mentioned, most manufacturers focus solely on getting the app and gadget to market as quickly as possible. They want to attract further investment and begin building their user base.
Unless you want to risk a massive security breach that will jeopardize your brand’s authority and reliability, you should employ third-party cybersecurity providers. Consider the options that best suit your budget and security needs without compromising the attention to detail.
Businesses should minimize end-point vulnerabilities since IoT is susceptible to malware and ransomware attacks. Focus on upgrading your native cybersecurity solutions and offer proper training on users and employees.
Education and training can go a long way since most cyberattacks result due to human intervention. Many businesses have implemented third-party remote monitoring apps to ensure their data remains secure. These apps minimize internal threats as they help employers monitor internal communication that occurs over text messages, social media, and emails. XNSPY is an example of such an app. You can read all XNSPY customer reviews here.
What does the future hold for IoT?
Users of Internet of Things-enabled devices have faced several security problems. Although the Internet of Things has provided an incredible medium for gadgets, basic IoT security vulnerabilities are nothing new.
These issues have existed since the creation of the Internet. And following the above guidelines.