The rapidly changing digital environment is revealing continuous progression in the IoT domain. More and more businesses are using IoT technology to connect multiple devices for data communication.
IoT devices are making major contributions in streamlining workflows. However, poorly managed devices lead data to high-level cybersecurity risks.
Leaving IoT technology behind is not a good idea. According to Security Boulevard, the IoT device market is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by the end of 2026.
The above IoT stats explain the sheer potential of the technology. With the outlined figures, you can also figure out how progressively the world is adopting smart devices for regular operations.
With that said, the rapid proliferation of smart devices is also causing data vulnerability to the verge.
The same source explained that 75% of infected devices in IoT attacks would be routers. Moreover, an IoT device only takes 5 minutes to be attacked when connected.
All in all, smart devices are the best way to keep things connected and streamlined. But, their potential risks are high plus, you can’t ‘ignore using them since the world’s adoption rate is huge. Missing out on the massive technology will leave you behind from your counterparts.
Now the question that turns out to be important is that how to secure your connected devices? (More on this later) first, understand the core premise of IoT technology and how it works.
What Are IoT Devices- The Concept
Many of you might not be a technophile, so it’s better to comprehend things from the basics. IoT devices are the hardware tools like machines, appliances, sensors, and other gadgets that can transfer data online. You can fix such tools into mobile devices, routers, medical devices, and industrial equipment.
How do IoT Devices work?
IoT works with processors and sensors; therefore, they are also called mini-computers. IoT devices collect data via sensors and respond to that using machine learning algorithms. These smart devices involve data communication over the network; hence, they are vulnerable to cyberattacks and malware.
Why Are IoT Devices Rapidly Adopting?
One major reason for the rapid adoption of smart devices is that these connected devices involve the highest-level of nuance using AI and machine learning.
With IoT devices, systems are getting even smarter and more independent. The best example of IoT autonomy is home automation and smart manufacturing.
IoT devices are portable, controllable, low-cost, and highly functional. Therefore, businesses are relying on it more than ever. Moreover, on-device processing requires more network bandwidth and IoT endpoint management. Managing IoT networks is a daunting process. Hence, the associated risks are also greater.
What Are the Trending IoT Solutions?
- IoT industrial Solutions
- IoT Smart Home Devices
- IoT Endpoint AI Solutions
- IoT Wearable Solutions
Why and How IoT Leaves Data Vulnerable? Key Factors
Many elements work as a prime factor to make data a major target for cybercriminals. Particularly, a system based on IoT devices contains various security lopes due to which data vulnerabilities arise and lead to the security lapse.
Below, you can find some of the core factors that act as the potential reason for IoT data vulnerability.
Absence of Updated Security Patches
Smart devices like sensors or watches don’t have a mechanism for timely updates—many manufacturers design IoT devices without updated security patches.
No matter how hard a company tries to secure its IoT based system, if a device is vulnerable, then the chances for a security breach will be high.
Many IoT devices lack core security updates, including the latest firmware, anti-rollback mechanism, encrypted transition, and notification alerts.
Even if a device gets automatically updated, it still lacks a notification alert to inform users about the changes being made by the update.
To shun such vulnerabilities, OTA or Over-the-Air updates are crucial. These updates are required to update the latest device hardware, software, firmware on any wireless network, e.g., Wi-Fi, CDMA, 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G connections are also included.
Lack of Device Identification
Device management and identification are significant for IoT security. If a company fails in device identification while running an IoT network, serious security fallout will occur.
Managing and identifying devices in an IoT environment is crucial because many identical, rogue devices can disrupt the network.
Such malicious devices get installed on the network without proper authorization. Later, they collect sensitive information while acting as a part of the network.
Therefore, identifying each device in the IoT environment is pivotal. IT admins can’t use a device’s IP address to verify each device. The process is quite prolonged and can’t determine essential network access requirements.
The best way for device validation and authentication is through machine learning technology. It helps companies to identify each device working in the IoT network. Moreover, machine learning technology also spots any new device in the network and monitors malicious network communication patterns in the first place even before system disruption occurs.
Lack of Encrypted Communication
Mostly, IoT devices transmit data using plaintext. In case a malicious device intercepts into the network, then accessing all information would be easier. Therefore, a mechanism for encrypted IoT communication is essential for data protection.
Companies should implement DTLS and message authentication like ECDSA signatures.
The DTLS protocol with public-key cryptography enhances the encrypted IoT communication over a network. It is one of the best encryption methods that use private and public encryption keys instead of involving anything complex like hard-coded secrets.
No Physical Security
IoT devices contain no physical security, due to which any attacker can intervene and launch unauthorized changes. It can result in future remote attacks.
Moreover, without surveillance, anyone can temper or access the connected device. IoT devices operate unattended, which means they are more vulnerable to attacks and tempering.
Security protocols work only for data protection over the network, but these protocols can’t control how the information is stored in a device.
The lack of physical hardening may encourage hackers to capture a device’s local access to change information.
Hence, the best way to combat such a situation is storing keys in Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) and Trusted Execution Environments (TEE). TPM is a chip integrated into the device besides the CPU. The chip’s main purpose is to serve cryptographic operations and generate a security key, save it, store data, and perform other relevant tasks. Both TPMs and TEE confirm disk encryption and platform password protection.
IoT Security-Thigs You Need to Know
Smart devices have many benefits, including improved monitoring, enhanced operational controls, cost reduction, business efficiency and productivity, better customer experience, mobility, and agility.
With that said, it’s no wrong to say that a little negligence will collapse your entire data security.
Now, it’s time to discuss the question that we left unanswered above “how to secure your connected devices? This question’s answer lies in the basic 7 tips that you will find below in this blog.
I will explain the 7 basic steps you need to follow to ensure security for your internet-connected devices.
Without further ado, let’s explore the much-needed guidelines to enhance IoT security.
How to Secure your Connected Devices-7 Steps Guidelines
1. Change the SSID Name
SSID (service set identifier) is your network’s default name. All the wireless routers come with a default SSID that manufacturers assign. Mostly, the manufacturers use their company’s name as the default SSID. The SSID of your network displays publicly, and any hacker can identify which brand you’re using. Hackers use this information to exploit your network further. The best way is to change your SSID into something that is not personal or identifiable by any means.
2. Set a Complex Password
Just like SSID, wireless routers come with a default password. If a hacker knows about your router’s brand, then he can easily figure out its pre-set password. To avoid any security threats, you need to create a new, complex password that must contain 20 characters, including numbers, letters, and symbols. Complex passwords are difficult to guess for hackers.
3. Turn-On Encryption Feature
A wireless router has an encryption feature that is disabled by default. While setting up your router, ensure turning-on the device encryption settings. It will protect your network also; keep in mind that the most recent available encryption is WPA2. Make sure your router supports it.
4. Disable Network Name Broadcasting
Always turn off the network name broadcasting. It will disable broadcasting your network name publicly. If you’re a private wireless user, then disabling this feature will be a safe side. However, businesses like restaurants, libraries, and coffee shops can leverage the same feature to limit their network access for customers only.
5. Update the latest Router Firmware
Make sure always to update the latest router firmware provided by the manufacturer. It’s essential to install updated system software and security patches to permeate various security holes against hackers and intruders.
6. Enable Router Firewall
Firewalls are meant to secure the system against disruptive interventions. Wireless routers come with a pre-configured firewall that’s disabled by default. Make sure to turn on your router firewall, and if there’s none, install an authentic firewall to defend malicious activities and unauthorized access attempts.
7. Always Connect to a VPN
VPN or virtual private network is an essential tool to connect with your router for network-wide protection. It encrypts traffic and transmits it through a secure tunnel. A reliable VPN client like iProVPN gets you the always-on protection for non-stop device security.
Protecting your smart devices should be your priority to combat all the potential network threats. Hopefully, you will use this exhaustive guide to upkeep your IoT network effectively.