IoT Security focuses on protecting connected devices and networks on the Internet of Things systems. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects outfitted with sensors, software, and other technologies that can communicate and exchange data with other devices and systems. IoT systems’ architecture consists of wireless networks, cloud databases for communication, sensors, data processing programs, and smart devices that are interconnected and interact closely with each other.
IoT Systems have equipped big industries and regular users with smart technologies to help ease their requirements. Industrial IoT (IIoT) is revolutionizing the manufacturing landscape with a network of connected machines, systems, and devices allowing manufacturers to plan, control, integrate, and analyze their processes in a more efficient manner.
With the IoT implementation, manufacturers can have potential opportunities to improve operations, enhance customer experience, and strengthen the supply chain connectivity and the data generated by it. Wireless IIoT sensor data is being used by organizations to predict and alert workers when a machine requires maintenance and eventually reduces costly breakdowns and repairs while increasing machine uptime.
GPS systems, RFID tags, and other wireless technologies are being leveraged to track the location of assets at any time with better efficiency.
According to Infosecurity Outlook Experts, “The term IoT is increasingly making its way into everyday use. However, the internet of things (IoT) has become so large that security development has had to keep up with the transforming environment.”
IoT Security is essential for data security, Smart devices gather a lot of sensitive data, including personally identifiable information. These sensitive data breaches can result in unpredictable damages.
Major Security Concerns in IoT
With increasing IoT implementations, users face many concerns regarding privacy and security. IoT systems are increasing exponentially in most of the industry vectors. Devices connected to IoT are growing at an ever-increasing rate daily. Autonomous and intelligent factories are becoming more and more connected in the industry.
Hyperconnectivity across platforms, networks, apps, and devices necessitates protection measures commensurate to the devices’ intelligence and behavior.
IoT security refers to the technology that protects linked devices, networks, and data. Interconnected computing devices, mechanical and digital equipment, objects, animals, and/or humans are all part of the IoT. Each “thing” has a unique identifier and the ability to transport data over a network for identification purposes autonomously. If devices are not properly safeguarded while connected to the internet, they are vulnerable to a wide range of threats.
Because of a series of high-profile cases involving the infiltration and attack of a more extensive network using a typical IoT device, there has been an increased focus on IoT security. Networks having IoT devices attached to them need to be safe. There are a wide variety of tactics, strategies, protocols, and activities that can be used to protect modern enterprises against ever-increasing IoT risks.
Why IoT security?
IoT security offers required measures to safeguard devices that are linked to the internet or a network. An ever-expanding range of applications has made the Internet of Things (IoT) an ever-expanding phrase. Everything from watches to thermostats to video gaming consoles can connect to the internet or other devices.
Internet of Things (IoT) security encompasses a wide range of approaches, strategies, and solutions to prevent these gadgets from being hacked. IoT devices are more vulnerable to hacks because of their inherent connectivity. Some of the key concerns are:
- Software and Hardware vulnerabilities:
Smart IoT Devices have limited computing power and are resource-constrained, they cannot support powerful security functions and are more vulnerable. The IoT industry lacks the computational capacity for efficient built-in security and poor access control in IoT systems and a limited budget for proper testing and improved firmware security.
IoT systems lack regular patches and updates due to limited budgets and technical limitations. IoT Devices have poor protection from physical attacks and an attacker can get close enough to add their chip or hack the device using radio waves. Malicious actors can leverage vulnerabilities in IoT systems to install malware and steal valuable data.
For example, the use of vulnerable credentials like weak, recycled, and default passwords helps hackers to hack smart cameras and they can even communicate with victims remotely using the camera’s microphone and speakers.
- Data Security:
All the devices connected to the internet have high chances of online exposure. These devices can unknowingly store and affect sensitive, technical, and even personal information. IoT devices have access to the financial information of their users also. When these devices have access to your credit card or banking information, they become an easy target for hackers.
Financial institutions that use IoT at work are at elevated risk of exposure and attack. IoT devices with sensitive financial information and weak security can put both businesses and customers at risk.
Ransomware and malware are serious threats to IoT systems. Cybercriminals have leveraged malware to great extent in recent years. Devices with insufficient enterprise cybersecurity can become a target for ransomware, which encrypts and blocks access to users’ sensitive files. The real trouble begins when a hacker who infected the device with malware demands ransom money. These security threats could jeopardize wearable technology, healthcare trackers, and smart homes.
The rapid rise in the number of IoT devices is making the security issue volatile. However, because the majority of IoT information is stored in the cloud, this malware may not have valuable data to lock. Ransomware attacks have the potential to not only lock users out of IoT devices and related platforms but also to disable devices and steal users’ data.
IoT botnet malware is one of the most common threat actors because it is versatile and profitable for cybercriminals. Botnets are networks of devices that run malicious bots and distribute malware. Botnets can infiltrate IoT networks and install ransomware, spyware, or other malware on secure devices, jeopardizing your financial and personal security.
Cyberattacks on IoT systems have dangerous consequences as they can easily turn into physical ones like fraudulent withdrawal of money or misuse of personal information or data. Cyberattacks like Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks frequently leverage infected or hijacked IoT devices. These devices are used as an attack base to infect additional machines and hide malicious activity, or as an entry point for lateral movement within a corporate network.
Be it organizations or smart homes, all IoT systems are at equal risk of cyberattacks. IoT systems are used in various industries from finance to healthcare, and an attack on these systems can expose sensitive information or even endanger their health and safety.
The Internet of Things has the unique ability to affect both virtual and physical systems. Developing a secured and safe IoT environment is the need of the hour. Users must regularly check for updates and patches and be ready to adapt to the developing IoT security protocols. In this blog, we shed some light on the concerns of IoT system security, further aspects like solutions for IoT Security will be discussed in the upcoming series on this topic.
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