In the last few years, the Internet of Things(IoT) has grown from just being a theoretical concept in its year of inception in 2010 to a visionary aspect for all kinds of organizations today. Companies and organizations are aspiring to transition for integration with IoT devices. The global market for IoT reached $100 billion in revenue for 2017 and is expected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2025.
New ways for the use and management of data integration and collection is sought to make the best of revolutionizing IoT devices.
IoT is deemed to have extensive functionality and can help to connect through a broader network. Though with such a broad network, this also brings a big challenge of securing the data. If an IoT device is not secured properly, it can have some major undesirable consequences.
IoT Security Challenges
IoT has played a major role in enhancing the networking capabilities in organizations. It has helped organizations cope with the advanced technological capabilities efficiently by developing an effective connection between devices and networks. Though with such advanced and broad connectivity, there also comes challenges on security as this could form more hostility against cyberattacks and other threats.
Lack of Encryptions
Encryption is one of the best ways to prevent breaches, but sometimes it can also be a leading IoT security challenge. Today hackers can easily manipulate algorithms that were integrated for protection as the devices lack processing and storage capabilities today. Unless an enterprise works, encryption would be no security asset.
Another challenge is the insecure firmware or the software. Updates are significantly important for developing security patches in IoT devices. These devices should be updated as and when any vulnerability arises. Still, some IoT devices are used without getting automated updates or any other necessary updates. Also, during updation, the data and its backup are sent to the cloud, leading the files to be unprotected and the hackers on the watch stealing your information.
Lack of Physical Hardening
IoT devices are required to be physically secured autonomously without any interventions. Sometimes these IoT devices can physically tamper in remote locations for a long period of time. Ensuring physical hardening comes from the manufacturer, but developing secure transmitters and sensors in the low-cost IoT devices is a challenge for them as well. It comes to the user’s responsibility to physically secure their IoT devices.
Data Security and Privacy Concern
Data today is conveyed, leveraged, and collected by the organizations handling a broad network of IoT devices like connected printers, smart TVs, thermostats, etc. This data connected among the broad array of networks has high vulnerabilities of getting sold out to other companies that might infringe on individual rights and privacy concerns.
IoT Security Risks
Lack of Proper Incident Response Process
Companies and organizations did an abysmal job in detecting breaches and handling incident response processes in the past. The incident response was always seen as a strict and immediate reaction to the cyberattack. More attention was given to make the defense hardcore than to learn from past incidents and preparing for the response process accordingly. This is where the continuous response is more proactive than incident response.
Insufficient Security Awareness and Training
IoT is still in the process, and people don’t know much about it as of yet. As it is believed that major IoT vulnerabilities begin from the manufacturer’s side, untrained and non-intellectual engineers and architects having mere knowledge of IoT can cause even bigger threats. One of the biggest vulnerabilities to IoT security is the user’s ignorance and lack of security awareness, posing great risks to IoT devices.
Lack of Ownership and Governance to Drive Security and Privacy
The insufficient risk assessments, differentiated security testings, and threat models in the network design and its architecture pose risks related to ownership and governance—the lack of dedicated engagements in the ownership and management of all system processes. Dedicated, experienced, and educated individuals are not being indulged in the management and governance of security and privacy issues for IoT networks.
Lack of Security in Product Design and Ecosystems
IoT designs and ecosystems are filled with vulnerable risks and uncertainties with a lack of legacy security standards and encryptions. Today, attacks and hackers exploit these kinds of ecosystems by launching damaging botnet attacks and breaches that affect data. Also, there is no unifying standard for authentications of device-to-device or maybe device-to-cloud authentication in the broad array of networks in an ecosystem.
Insecure Data Transfer and Storage
Whenever any data is collected, processed, and is stored in a new location of the IoT network, the chances of getting it compromised increases. The use of hard-coded secrets instead of robust encryption technology of private and public keys exposes data on the front. Also, when any data is stored in the cloud, the vulnerabilities can get much higher.
Minimal to no security foundation is configured into IoT devices today that can lead to major third-party risks and threats, which can also manipulate the IoT devices’ functioning. These third-party risks are majorly initiated with the help of botnets that attack IoT infrastructure and launch various malware spams, propagations, DDoS attacks, and other anonymizing malicious activities.
Steps to Secure Your IoT devices
- Detection of Blockchain-based infrastructure – The Blockchain-based infrastructure offers a great alternative to the DNS system managed by a central authority.
- Identity and access management – A hybrid identity and access management solution that brings a complete combination and convergence of OT and IT offers a robust situation for organizations.
- Stay up to date with firmware – Make use of current Windows versions for the domain controllers to reduce the attack surface as much as possible. Make use of App-locker and secure built-in administrator accounts to keep your Firmware game right.
- Secure remote access – To handle the new work patterns on the remote platforms correctly, the only devices with unique identification should be used to access the internal infrastructures. VPNs and authentications should be made robust and proactive with a strong set of policy-based access controls.
- Enable multi-factor Authentication – Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security with the factors of possession. Multi-factor authentication could be made of perfect use for the initial hardware commissioning process and at the admin level.
- Use secondary networks – You must definitely create a secondary network solely for your IoT devices. This keeps your sensitive data and information secured on a separate identical network.
- Use continuous monitoring – A proactive 24/7 continuous monitoring helps you have a comprehensive insight into your security updates and vulnerabilities in your IoT networks. It helps you to evaluate alerts by having control over a wide range of security systems continuously.
- Ensure data security with Endpoint Encryption – Build automated security with intelligence into your IoT devices and products from inception. Look for end-to-end security mechanisms for medical devices, connected vehicles, assistants, systems, and all other parts of your IoT network.
- Adopt pre-integrated IoT strategy – Deploy convenient, fast, and cost-effective pre-integrated IoT strategy for security solutions to integrate perfectly with the software development frameworks that can help you to protect IoT devices and networks in a powerfully streamlined manner.
IoT is the new normal in today’s working environment, where the need for remote working and remote access to data and resources is at its peak. Organizations have understood the capabilities of IoT and how it benefits networking today. Though with its multifarious advantages, it also comes with various security obstacles that should be worked on and resolved as soon as possible.
Deploying the hardcore security devices, systems, and mechanisms should be done using advanced endpoints and effective segmentation of networks. The above discussion would have perfectly given you the idea of possible risk factors associated with IoT and the steps required to streamline IoT’s securing.