What You Need to Know About the Security of IoT Devices

As more and more devices are connected to the internet, the risk of cyber attacks on these systems has become a real concern. In this article, we will take a look at some best practices for securing your IoT systems, from monitoring and logging activity to building security into your devices from the ground up.

Cyberattacks are becoming more common and dangerous. IoT devices are particularly vulnerable to many types of cyberattacks because devices and systems can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Hackers can use this access to steal information or disrupt or damage the device.

There are many steps that can be taken to protect an IoT device from cyberattacks. In some cases, the attacks can sabotage critical systems, leading to financial losses.

Facing the reality of IoT security

There is no doubt that IoT is growing exponentially, with devices being embedded in everything from cars to hospitals. With this level of growth comes the inevitable security concerns. The hard truth is IoT devices, such as other devices, are vulnerable to cyberattacks. To assess the risks and threats to IoT devices, it is important to understand the different types of attacks that can be launched against them.

There are three main types of attacks that can be executed against IoT devices:

  1. Malware Attacks: Malware attacks are when malicious code is inserted into an IoT device to take advantage of its vulnerabilities. This type of attack can infect the device and allow unauthorized access to it.
  2. Cyber Attacks: Cyberattacks are when unauthorized individuals gain access to an organization’s computer systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in those systems. Cyber attacks can also involve the use of malware in order to gain access to systems.
  3. Data Leakage Attacks: Data leakage attacks are when unauthorized individuals access or steal data from an IoT device or system. This type of attack can occur when the data stored on an IoT device is not properly secured or when it is mistakenly made available online.

Never Expose IoT Devices to Public Internet

If you’re using an IoT device, be sure to keep it safe from the internet. Many people think that because an IoT device is connected to the internet, it’s safe to use. But this is not always the case.

If your IoT device is exposed to the internet, hackers can gain access to it and exploit its vulnerabilities. This could allow them to steal your personal information or even control the device remotely.

Therefore, it’s important to keep your IoT devices as isolated as possible from the internet. You can do this by disabling any features that allow the device to connect to the internet or by physically removing it from network connections altogether.

If your device needs to be online for some reason, find a secure way to do it. For example, you could use a virtual private network (VPN) or restrict access to a selected IP address.

Mitigation strategies

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to securing IoT systems, as the nature of these devices and their connections makes them vulnerable to a variety of attacks. However, there are a number of best practices that can help minimize the risk of malicious actors compromising or infiltrating your IoT system.

First and foremost, make sure you have a sound security strategy in place from the outset. Your security will involve understanding the vulnerabilities of your IoT system and developing a plan to address them.

Additionally, keep in mind that many common attacks against traditional computing systems can be used against IoT systems as well, so vigilance is essential.

Another key precaution is encrypting all data transmissions and ensuring that only authorized users have access to sensitive information. Finally, always keep an eye out for signs that your IoT system has been compromised.

If you notice any unusual activity take action immediately by contacting your security provider or verifying the source and destination of the activity.

Basic Steps to Ensure the Security of your IoT Devices

  1. Keep your IoT system up-to-date:

    Make sure that you are always using the latest versions of the software and firmware for your devices. This will help to protect them against known vulnerabilities, as well as new ones that may be discovered in future releases of software.

    There are many different types of attacks that could be aimed at your IoT devices. Some of these attacks could damage or disable your devices, while others could steal data from them. By updating your devices, you can help to protect them against these attacks.

  2. Network Security and Segmentation:

    Implement a secure network architecture. Security requirements for IoT networks can be different than those for traditional computer networks, so it is important to create a tailored network architecture and security policy specific to IoT systems.

    Make sure your network is configured with appropriate firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and other security measures. Keeping IoT devices isolated from other networks would be an excellent practice to prevent attacks on IoT devices from other networks.

  3. Monitoring and Access Management:

    Monitor your IoT devices closely for signs of unauthorized activity. make sure you deploy device security measures such as firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDPs) to protect against unauthorized activity on your devices.

    It’s also important to monitor authorized individual access to each IoT Device.

Advanced Steps to Ensure the Security of your IoT Devices

  1. Disable Unused Functions:

    One of the first steps you can take to ensure the security of your IoT devices is to disable any unused functions. This will help to reduce the chances of a hacker being able to access or damage your devices.

  2. Enable Encryption:

    One of the most important steps you can take to ensure the security of your IoT devices is to enable encryption. Encryption protects your devices from unauthorized access, and it also helps to protect the data that is stored on them.

    There are a number of encryption protocols that you can use, depending on the type of device you are protecting (For example, AES-256). These cryptographic methods are very secure and are approved by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

    Enabling encryption on your devices also makes it difficult for hackers to gain access to your data. If they are able to gain access to your devices, they could potentially steal your data or use it for malicious purposes. By encrypting your devices, you can help protect yourself and your data from harm.

Conclusion

With the increasing popularity of IoT systems, it is important that businesses take steps to ensure the security and integrity of these systems. In order to ensure the security of your IoT systems, it is important to have a system in place that monitors these systems and alerts you when there are issues. By following these basic guidelines, your business can ensure a basic level of protection itself from potential attacks on their IoT Devices.

Jim Biniyaz

Founder and Cyber Security Director

Jim is an Entrepreneur, passionate about Cyber Security, innovation, and product development. He is Co-Founder of DeltaThreat and Next IQ ltd and General Partner in Parrot Media Group.

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