Cybersecurity in The Age of the Internet of Things: Assessing Risks and Finding Solutions

Cybersecurity in The Age of the Internet of Things: Assessing Risks and Finding Solutions

Since its advent, the Internet of Things has transformed our everyday life and work scenarios. From smartphones to smart homes and vehicles, the applications of IoT are plenty, and it offers several benefits.

These advancements have made our everyday life simpler. Despite its numerous advantages, IoT poses risks as well. The fast growth of IoT has increased the chances of cyber-attacks, and the vulnerabilities in IoT devices pose threats to data privacy and protection.

Cyber security in the age of IoT is a concern; however, there are several ways to tackle the vulnerabilities. IoT users must keep informed about these risks and 

take all measures to reduce them. In this article, we will discuss the significance of cyber security in the age of IoT. Knowing the potential risks helps IoT service providers and users avoid the threats.

Common IoT Cyber Risks

Cyber security for IoT includes the best practices to protect connected devices in the IoT network from unauthorized access and other related risks. Let’s understand the common sources of IoT cyber risks so that it becomes easy to manage and mitigate such threats. 

1. Botnets

Botnets target IoT devices because of their weak security. Hackers control botnets that consist of networks of computers with malicious applications. It can launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on vulnerable IoT devices and systems. Users should always protect their devices with strong passwords, secure communication protocols and update the firmware to reduce the threats of IoT botnets. 

2. Ransomware

Ransomware risks in IoT go up with the increase in the number of vulnerable devices in the IoT network. Attackers keen on infecting devices and systems with malware transform them into botnets to gain access to the network. Cybercriminals lock or takes control of the vulnerable device to demand ransom. The ransomware removes all the files hacked if the payment is not sufficient to restore all of the data.

3. Privacy Concerns

As we all know, IoT devices and systems generate a lot of data consisting of sensitive information. IoT users should know how their data is collected, shared and stored by IoT systems and related services. They should also review privacy policies, grant permissions carefully and understand data protection features for protecting personal and sensitive data. 

4. Poor Authentication

Passwords act as a first defence against cyber threats. Apparently, passwords should be strong enough to provide sufficient protection. Similarly, using default passwords makes it easy for hackers to break into the system and IoT networks. Changing default passwords and using strong ones instead helps prevent hackers from gaining access to IoT devices and networks. 

5. Lack of standardization

In the IoT landscape, there are hardly any security standards. Since there are no industry standards, organizations can develop their guidelines and rules. The inconsistent standards in the IoT ecosystem make it even more challenging to secure connected devices. Further, there is little scope for enabling machine-to-machine interactions.

Now that we have discussed the possible cyber IoT risks let’s review the possible solutions. We shall break down a few solutions here.

1. Strong Authentication

Strong authentication goes a long way to beef up the security features of connected devices. To make the system even more secure, use multifactor or biometric authentication. You can protect the devices against these external security threats by reducing the chances of attacks from cybercriminals. 

2. Enable Security During Planning Phase

Despite the risks revolving around the IoT ecosystem, you can secure the connected devices by enabling security during the planning phase itself. That being said, the IoT development team should be aware of the cybersecurity threats during every design and development stage. 

3. Keep Track of IoT Devices

You can reduce the impact of IoT security risks by regularly monitoring and reporting in real time. Ensure that you have a real-time security monitoring system that keeps tabs on the behaviour of the connected devices. With the help of the real-time monitoring system, you can detect possible incidents, such as unusual activities and security breaches. Simultaneously, you can take necessary actions to reduce such incidents in real-time. 

4. Update Firmware

Make sure that the firmware is updated so that it minimizes the risks of hacker attacks. The firmware enables protection with advanced security patches. Also, most manufacturers send updates regularly or in case you missed it, you can check security patches and updates. Since there is no extra protection, regular updating of IoT device software is recommended. It enhances the security of devices and eliminates the security issues associated with the previous software application. To secure your IoT device and prevent cybersecurity risks, always update your software.

5. Implement Vulnerability Management

Security breaches can be prevented largely with the help of vulnerability management. It ensures no risk to the device through a process that identifies, evaluates, classifies and reduces the incidence of security vulnerabilities. It is not just about standard scanning but includes a thorough verification to list all possible vulnerabilities and provide solutions. The vulnerability management framework includes security policies for authorized and unauthorized devices, security configurations for authorized devices, vulnerabilities of all connected devices and the scanning of possible security threats and vulnerabilities in the IoT infrastructure. 

Closing Remarks

Indeed, we all agree that IoT provides great convenience, efficiency and ensures productivity. However, the proliferation of IoT in all sectors has made it vulnerable to security threats. Indeed, it demanded the adoption of countermeasures to minimize the risks to protect the connected devices and the IoT infrastructure. Rely on a reputable and expert IoT services provider who can provide enough security to mitigate all potential risks.