IoT devices, like the ones used in the manufacturing and healthcare industries, make carrying out day-to-day business operations more efficient. They also create a more personalized experience for users, making them more popular than ever in today’s world. Our country’s infrastructure even relies on them for a functioning economy and society. Hence, understanding IoT security issues and solutions is crucial for protecting socioeconomic and government systems from lurking threats in cyberspace and the online world as they connect from computer to computer and internet networks, which can be detrimental to everyday life.
- 1 What is IoT security?
- 2 The significance of IoT security
- 3 5 most common IoT security challenges
- 4 Best practices for safeguarding IoT system security
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 About The Author
What is IoT security?
IoT security is the strategy of protecting internet-connected devices from cybersecurity risks. This includes hacking that can lead to data breaches, malicious malware downloads that can disrupt your computing system, hardware-based attacks that can deprive you of access to your computers, and more.
The significance of IoT security
IoT devices were built with the sole purpose of smart programming and easy use. Hence, they lack the strong security embedding needed to keep user information and software data safe from cyber criminals.
As a result, they are especially vulnerable to multiple forms of exploitation, including unauthorized access to trusted information and DDoS attacks that can take over your computer and prevent you from accessing your own service whenever you connect to the internet or other networks.
Therefore, internet-connected devices have a significant need for IoT security. However, this presents several challenges because their very design creates a number of vulnerabilities on a wide scale.
5 most common IoT security challenges
No Operating System
A computer’s operating system allows it to be detected by the manufacturer so it can receive system updates as needed. This, in turn, helps keep it safe from the most recently known types of cyber attacks.
However, IoT devices do not have an operating system. Hence, it presents IoT security concerns because they cannot receive the security patchwork and updates needed to help keep their system secure.
Therefore, it leaves its components open to cyber attacks that target this vulnerability.
No Data Encoding
When most computers communicate with their cloud server, printers, and other trusted devices on the network, they use encoded data by default to do so that it can only be interpreted by authorized parties.
However, IoT devices do not encode their data by default. Hence, personal and confidential data shared between other devices on the network can be easily interpreted by unauthorized parties, which makes them vulnerable to malware attacks and other forms of data breach or theft.
They Lack Network Segmentation
Typically, when a computer connects to other devices in the same network, the network is segmented into separate portions to be used by each computer for increased security.
However, IoT devices lack network segmentation. Therefore, when they connect to other devices in the same network, if one device becomes infected by malware, it can quickly spread to all other devices on the network and make it easy to intercept sensitive information.
And since IoT devices rely heavily on API and remoting channels, it makes them easy to exploit, thus also adding to the list of challenges of securing IoT devices.
Easy Administrator Default Passwords and User Names
Like other computers, IoT devices use administrator default names and passwords to help prevent hackers from gaining access to the device. However, they are often easy to guess. Therefore, they are not very secure.
In most cases, they also cannot be reset. Hence, certain model IoT devices are susceptible to the same Internet of Things security risks if a cybercriminal happens to guess the default password.
Vulnerable to Hardware Tampering
IoT devices are also not built to be tamper-proof. Hence, if an attacker gains physical access to the device, it can be easily taken over or have its data stolen.
It also puts other devices on the network at risk if the attacker gains information that can be used to take control of them or steal their data as well.
Best practices for safeguarding IoT system security
IoT devices security issues can only be remedied with an integrated solution that ensures cyber protection from the device to the network’s infrastructure, which the following best practices help address.
Understanding the risks of each IoT device used in your operations can help you monitor its individual behavior while it is connected to your network so you can quickly recognize and prevent a cyber attack.
It is also important to understand the device’s communication protocols, internet protocols, and network protocols to detect malware from an IoT device vulnerability.
Another best practice is network segmentation of IoT devices, which enables them to connect to a separate network. This way, you can isolate vulnerable devices to prevent attacks from spreading to other devices on the network.
Meanwhile, adding a zero-trust network and another layer of cloud-based security can further enhance the device’s processing capabilities for added security.
You can also protect your IoT environment with security solutions that provide endpoint encryption.
An Internet of things service can help you incorporate these solutions and more for multiple layers of security for your IoT devices that enable your workplace to perform its daily operations with peace of mind.
IoT devices are quickly becoming a must for more efficient business operations. Hence, they are bound to become an imperative part of various industries worldwide. And as they do, so will the need for more custom-based cybersecurity solutions that allow you to address your specific IoT device’s vulnerabilities on multiple levels. This way, you are afforded the maximum protection of your computers no matter their makeup or type.