The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing exponentially, with up to 25 billion devices is expected to be deployed by 2030. IoT technology has many benefits for consumers, businesses and, in particular, the manufacturing, healthcare and transportation industries. However, if IoT security issues are not addressed, as more and more devices are installed, connected networks will be exposed to an increasing number of cyberattacks.
What is the Internet of Things?
The IoT is a system of interconnected devices, machines, and digital or mechanical objects that can transfer data over a network without human interaction.
An IoT system can be a vehicle with built-in sensors that alert the driver to low tire pressure, a biochip transponder implanted in a farm animal, a heart monitor implant implanted in a person, or any other object using a protocol Internet (IP) address for transferring data over a network.
Organizations are using the IoT to provide improved customer service, improve decision-making, increase business value, and operate more efficiently.
IoT security challenges
The challenges listed below may put users of IoT devices at potential risk of a data breach.
Lack of physical security
Attackers can sometimes make physical changes to IoT devices located in remote locations for long periods of time. For example, they can infect USB drives with malware. IoT device manufacturers must ensure the physical security of devices. However, building secure IoT transmitters and sensors at low cost can be a challenging task for manufacturers.
A botnet is a collection of machines infected with malware. Attackers use these infected machines to bring down a target by sending thousands of requests per second.
IoT devices are very vulnerable to malware attacks because they don’t receive regular security updates like regular computers. As a result, attackers can easily turn IoT devices into infected botnets and use them to send large amounts of traffic.
Lack of visibility
Gaining visibility into all IoT devices on the network is a challenge for IT teams because many devices are simply not recorded in IT inventory records. Devices such as smart coffee machines, ventilation and air conditioning systems are not considered “important enough” to be tracked by IT teams. Security teams can’t do anything to prevent breaches if they can’t see what’s connected to the network.
Data privacy is a serious security issue in the IoT. Many devices collect user information, such as patient data from healthcare equipment and personal information from smart toys and wearables. For example, hackers can steal a surveillance camera to spy on it, then use the video against its owner. Hackers can also collect corporate data and expose, sell, or use it to extort the owner.
Ransomware attacks encrypt and block access to sensitive files. Then the hacker will demand ransom money for the decryption key to unlock the files. Poorly secured IoT devices can also become the target of ransomware.
Cases of ransomware attacks on the IoT are currently rare. However, smart homes, healthcare gadgets and other smart devices may be at risk in the future due to their increasing value to their owners and their reliance on these devices as mission-critical systems. .
IoT Security Solutions
Any connected device can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Be sure to follow these tips to prevent potential attacks.
Use IoT Security Scan
Security scanning can significantly reduce IoT security issues and vulnerabilities. Security analytics help security teams identify and prevent potential threats by collecting and analyzing data from multiple sources.
Additionally, security analytics can identify malicious anomalies in network traffic by correlating data from different domains. Correlation allows security teams to fix these anomalies and prevent them from negatively impacting connected devices. Analytics can easily detect sensor security issues such as spikes. The combination of all this valuable information can help detect and prevent threats effectively.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
Every second that you are not in control of your IoT devices, you are losing data because IoT devices are constantly streaming data. EDR technology can help you identify attacks in real time and avoid losing that data. EDR enables security teams to quickly identify malicious activity and gain direct access to devices with real-time visibility and alerts.
Another key capability of EDR is that it can automatically block suspicious activity in real time. EDR solutions leverage threat intelligence to identify suspicious activity on an IoT device and provide an effective response, even if human security teams are unable to respond quickly to the event.
IoT devices often rely on APIs to retrieve data from other systems and share the data they collect. APIs are a weak link in many security strategies. By adopting API Security Best Practices and continuous security testing, organizations can be confident that hackers cannot break into their IoT devices through loosely configured or unauthenticated APIs.
Improve network visibility
IT teams need dedicated visibility tools like Network Access Controls (NACs) to maintain a detailed inventory of all devices connected to the network. NAC technology should automatically update the inventory when a new device connects and check it on a monthly basis. Tracking IoT devices allows organizations to automatically respond to security incidents and take security compliance actions.
Attackers can compromise IoT communication to access devices. You should encrypt communication between IoT devices and interfaces such as web apps and mobile apps to prevent data breaches. Today, the most common encryption protocol for data transfer is SSL/TLS.
Full device authentication can reduce the vulnerability of IoT devices, as hackers are always trying to get their hands on personal information. There are various authentication mechanisms available for IoT devices, such as multi-factor authentication, digital certificates, and biometrics. It is essential to ensure that unauthorized users cannot access your devices.
Unsecured IoT devices threaten the viability of networks, devices, systems and users. However, securing the IoT is not just a matter of business configuration. To properly secure the IoT, users and administrators must work together to create a culture of security. For users, this means implementing basic security best practices, such as blocking unnecessary remote access and changing default security passwords.
Device manufacturers should take a broader approach and invest in encryption, security analytics, and visibility. Systems and administrators must constantly monitor activity and respond quickly. As a collaborative force, all of these IoT users, administrators, and manufacturers can ensure IoT security.