The IoT industry is flourishing with each passing day, and because of this, IoT is present all around us. It is not just providing backed insights that add value to different businesses and enterprises and enable them to secure their data and manage their privacy. IoT is one of the most successful developments of the 21st century.
With IoT, more and more people are now using IoT-enabled devices and applications. The numbers are rising not just every day but every second. Yes! You’ve heard it right; every second, 127 new IoT devices are connected to the internet. It is also found that in 2019, 26.66 billion IoT devices will remain active, while in a few years, the number of IoT devices all over the globe will reach 75 billion.
The benefits and opportunities IoT offers are limitless; however, one key obstacle hinders the widespread adoption of this innovation. In 2018, Bain and Company conducted a survey and found that many enterprise and industrial respondents regarded security as the primary barrier to IoT adoption.
A slight misconfiguration or poor security practices invite hackers to launch cyberattacks, data theft, and security breaches. As the IoT is a vast network of several connected devices, one compromised device can take over the entire system and cripple an organization.
A recent report by the Ponemon Institute reveals in 2017, only 15% of the respondents suffered from an IoT-related data breach. This number increased to 26% this year, which surveyed 625 experts.
When the survey participants were asked whether their organizations might experience any cyberattack, such as denial-of-service attacks caused by using unsecured IoT devices and applications, so; 87% of the respondents answered yes.
When we look at modern internet standards, we know that most of us do not have the vision to include IoT because it is an emerging concept, and its cases and devices continue to evolve. Many present-day IoT devices were deployed using proprietary protocols, making communication between different IoT devices and standardization much more complicated. Uniformity will take some time, with thousands of companies competing for space across diverse industries.
It is essential to remember that the IoT is a network of connected devices, which is a core of a compelling web of people. Thus, it is vital to protect the IoT from getting doomed. But before we get into this debate of how to prevent IoT from getting doomed? First, let’s shed some light on the issues and threats that IoT devices frequently face.
Frequent threats to the IoT
Besides security, there are other reasons for IoT getting doomed. This includes privacy, digital fatigue, and ecosystem wars. There might be some other valid reasons also but the basic and most basic are discussed as follows:
These hacks usually occur when IoT devices are compromised through the network to which they are connected. Such breaches allow the hacker to have control of the device and function it as they like. For instance, the hacker may tap inside a device in an autonomous vehicle to control its driving, triggering a crash and harming a factory.
Distributed Denial of Service attacks
DDoS attacks occur when devices are forced and influenced to send multiple messages, and the IoT network becomes stunned and shuts down. Hackers use this method to have control of various compromised devices to establish a traffic jam, preventing necessary information from getting through to its destination.
You can also prevent DDoS attacks by using a VPN, as it protects your internet traffic and hides your actual IP address from the eyes of hackers.
Like alarm security devices, various wireless IoT devices might get blocked via radio jamming, which deliberately blocks wireless communications. This process is done by buying an illegal radio frequency jammer device that can cause an IoT device to lose connectivity, restricting its ability to communicate with the network.
For example, commercial and residential alarm security systems, usually connected over cellular networks, can be jammed to enable a break-in and block the alarm sent to the security provider.
How to avoid IoT from getting doomed?
To avoid all this, IT experts take the necessary steps to address security needs. The following mentioned below are some of the ways to manage IoT devices and minimize the risk of IoT getting doomed.
- Each IoT device is known to be an attack vector for ransomware attacks. In reality, IoT might be the preferred route of attacks for ransomware moving forward. For this reason, IT experts need to identify what devices are on their systems and ensure that only the entrusted and security devices can be added. Remember, you don’t want any lousy actor to connect devices to your IoT solutions that aren’t running or trusted software for any trusted user.
- Don’t manage things that you don’t know. With the increase in numbers and types of assets, the tools needed to achieve them also increases. In previous years, things have become complicated with the introduction of BYOD, IoT, and other mobile devices. But then, who is responsible for all those devices on the network that any company doesn’t own? Is IT capable of understanding which devices are accessing the corporate resources? With only access to email and business information on our phones and tablets, how can security and IT departments know which devices are secure and which are not? Well! IT teams should work with a solution that can manage all these tasks. Instead of having different solutions, searching for one comprehensive solution that allows you to discover all other devices connected to your systems is essential. Later, develop an inventory, detect patches and firmware updates, and integrate them into your system to allow for complete asset and device management.
- IoT experts must consider standard patch hygiene essential to prevent IoT from being doomed. Several organizations suffer from attacks just because of a lack of patching. The capability to update and maintain remote device software is a crucial component of proper device management. Most successful attacks use widespread vulnerabilities in some known software that software vendors have patched up. This, in other words, also means that updating your devices is very imperative.
- Ensure that you follow the principle of least privilege and provide administrative opportunities to the people who most need them. Implement the minimal level of user rights, or even the lowest clearance level, that enables users to perform their particular roles. Least privilege is also similar to this process, which is applied to applications, devices, processes, and systems that only have permission to perform an authorized activity. According to Forrester Research, up to 80% of today’s security breaches include privileged credentials. For this reason, enforcing the least privilege has emerged as a necessary element in combating security risks.
- Data breaches happen very often; thus, take immediate action. To ensure your and your business’s safety, change your password whenever a data breach has been disclosed. Moreover, enable two-factor authentication, update the admin account, and regularly install security patches.
With the evolvement of the IoT industry, we’ll see a significant push towards better and improved levels of security. The network has become a focal point for organizational protection to prevent interference and ensure that only the proper devices have access and collaboration between network personnel and security.
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About the Author
Rebecca James is an IT consultant with forward thinking approach toward developing IT infrastructures of SMEs. She writes to engage with individuals and raise awareness of digital security, privacy, and better IT infrastructure.More from Rebecca James
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