IoT industry is flourishing by each passing day, and because of this IoT is present all around us. It is not just providing backed insights that are adding value to different businesses and enterprises but are also enabling 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 remain active, while in a few years, the number of IoT devices all over the globe will reach 75 billion.
The benefits and opportunities offered by IoT are limitless; however, one key obstacle does hinder 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 any 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 is capable of taking 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 increases 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 that are caused by using unsecured IoT devices and applications, so; 87% of the respondents answered with a yes.
When we look at the modern internet standards we, end up knowing 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 of the present-day IoT devices were deployed by using proprietary protocols that makes communication between different IoT devices difficult and standardization much complicated. With thousands of companies competing for space across diverse industries so, uniformity will take some time.
It is essential to remember that the IoT is a network of connected devices, which in turn, is a core of a compelling network 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? Let’s first shed some light on the issues and threats which IoT devices frequently face.
Frequent threats to the IoT
Besides security, there are other reasons, too, 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 take place 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. Like for instance, the hacker may tap inside a device in an autonomous vehicle to control its driving, and it triggers a crash and results in harming a factory.
Distributed Denial of Service attacks
DDoS attacks occur when devices are forced and influenced to send multiple messages that the IoT network becomes stunned and shuts down. Hackers use this method to have control of various compromised devices to establish a traffic jam, avoiding 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 real IP address from the eyes of hackers.
Various wireless IoT devices, like the alarm security devices, might get blocked via radio jamming, which is the deliberate blocking with wireless communications. This process is done by buying an illegal radio frequency jammer device that can cause an IoT device to lose connectivity, restricting their ability to communicate with the network. For example, commercial and residential alarm security systems that are usually connected over cellular networks can be jammed to enable a break-in and block the alarm that would be sent to the security provider.
How to avoid IoT from getting doomed?
To avoid all this, IT experts are taking 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 from 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, the IT experts need to identify what devices are present on their systems and ensure that only the entrusted and security devices can be added. Remember, you don’t want any bad actor to connect devices to your IoT solutions that aren’t running or trusted software on behalf of any trusted user.
- Don’t manage things which you don’t know. With the increase of 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 aren’t owned by any company? 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, it is essential to search for one comprehensive solution that allows you to discover all other devices connected to your systems. 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. The majority of successful attacks are using widespread vulnerabilities in some known software that have been patched up by software vendors. This is other words, also means that updating your devices is very imperative.
- Make sure that you follow the principle of least privilege and provide administrative opportunities to the people who needed them the most. Implement the minimal level of user rights, or even the lowest clearance level, that enables a user to perform their particular role. Least privilege is also similar to this process, which is applied to applications, devices, processes, and systems that only have the 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 actions. To ensure the safety of yourself and business, make sure to 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 now become a focal point for organizational security, to prevent interference, and ensure that the only proper devices have access and collaboration between network personnel and security.