Technology makes our lives more comfortable, and the Internet of Things allows us to take great strides in improving our workplace and our lives. The IoT market size is set to increase from USD 690 billion in 2019, translating to a CAGR of 10.53% in 2020-2025. However, as we see advancements in technology, various nefarious activities over the dark web have also increased.
As the use of IoT increases, it has also seen increased attacks from hackers. Studies show that the number of connected devices is expected to reach 31 billion in 2020, increasing to around 75 billion by 2025.
The exponential increase in the number of IoT devices gives rise to serious security issues that require meticulous planning and deployment of globally accepted best practices.
This article will discuss some of the biggest IoT security challenges and how to overcome them.
Are all the IoT devices compliant with acceptable norms?
At the RSA Conference 2020, researchers from Checkmarx pointed out many high-security flaws with a particular vacuum cleaner that could lead to potential attackers by hackers. Most manufacturers do not spend resources on ensuring adherence to security conventions. Countries across the world must come up with a standard security protocol.
Till that is in place, the manufacturers must ensure that there are proper security procedures in place to thwart any chances of hackers breaking into their system.
How can you protect what you cannot see?
As IoT devices grow in prominence, businesses are adding these devices in huge numbers. It becomes a problem to ensure they are being added after considering all security protocols. The several unmanaged IoT devices act as blind spots to the organization. The vulnerabilities of the business get increased.
Your business must have a robust policy towards integrating all IoT devices into the company’s central network system. Until they are formally incorporated into the network, the devices must not be connected to a separate network.
Preventing botnet attacks
As most IoT devices do not have the necessary security mechanisms, botnets let hackers control the devices remotely and perform unwarranted and malicious actions. The best way to prevent such attacks is to research the devices and check whether they have the requisite security procedures in place. There are various databases that you can refer to for this check.
Moreover, you must have a robust authentication procedure in place to prevent such attacks. You must also ensure only authorized software upgrades for these devices.
Data integrity risks
Numerous IoT devices store their information in the cloud. But most of the data is sent to the cloud location without being encrypted. A hacker can quickly gain control over the device and the underlying data.
To mitigate data integrity risks, one needs to ensure not only compliance with data safety regulations but also ensure the security of the data being transmitted between site visitors and browser.
You must install an SSL certificate to encrypt the information that is being exchanged. SSL certificate can be of different types like a single domain requires single SSL certificate and unlimited subdomains require a Cheap Comodo wildcard SSL certificate from CheapSSlShop.
Are the security procedures outdated?
It is essential to ensure that the security procedures are in line with the latest standards. Outdated security standards can lead to an increased risk of the devices being hacked. Your IT team must make it a practice to update the software of all the IoT devices in the organization.
The automatic updates must be asset up with alerts to inform the relevant personnel for updating the software. It will update the software and prevent hackers from intruding into the system.
Prevent automatic interconnection of devices
There is a specific feature that allows devices to seek out nearby devices and connect with them automatically. It is the Universal Plug and Play feature that comes with most devices. It is a security nightmare too.
They use local networks for connecting and are prone to attacks as they can be accessed easily. The best option is to turn off this feature and prevent connectivity with ad-hoc devices.
Keeping safe from physical tampering
IoT devices in remote office locations can stay away from the network. These devices can work remotely without any user having to control it. However, they are liable to have been tampered with by external means.
Someone may connect a USB, or they may be susceptible to malware attacks. It is not feasible to spend resources through separate sensors and the like. It is essential to protect such devices physically.
The security cameras outside the office can be tampered with unless adequately protected through physical means.
Is there awareness about IoT security issues?
We are aware of the security issues across our sensitive data. Social engineering attacks make it easy to trick such unsuspecting users and gain access to the network.
You must have a documented security mechanism in place and train your employees in the security policies that are in place. It will prevent them from doing any foolish acts rendering the entire network being susceptible to attacks.
Protection against rogue devices
With more employees taking advantage of your BYOD practice, it has led to more rogue IoT devices entering your networks. Such devices can integrate other devices on the network and make them corrupt. You must have a policy in place for such devices. No external devices may be allowed to enter the system without proper authorization and authentication.
Are the passwords robust?
Hackers have the technology to break through weak passwords. It is essential to have a firm password policy for all the IoT devices on the network. The passwords must also be changed regularly, and they must be complicated. You must have a unique password for all the devices and have a central repository to remember them.
The use of IoT devices has been increasing over time. It allows us to interact smartly with our surroundings. However, the potential source of breaches is several. You must procure an best SSL certificate to ensure an encrypted connection. We have discussed some of them in this article and how to avoid them. Businesses must take the aspect of IoT data security seriously and have stringent procedures towards data integrity.