IoT is one of the most common emerging technology. It comes with its benefits and risks. The advocates of the technology promote IoT as a means to make life easier and better. Almost every appliance is IoT-enabled. Today, more than 30% of all network-connected enterprise endpoints are IoT devices. The IoT market will rise to 1 trillion USD in 2023 from 749 billion USD in 2020.
On the other hand, IT professionals are considering it risky due to user privacy and security issue. According to NETSCOUT Threat Intelligence Report, on average IoT device gets attacked within 5 minutes after it goes live. In 2025, 152,000 IoT devices will be connecting to the internet every minute. How disastrous would it be if a majority of these devices are prone to cyberattacks?
Let’s find out more about these security challenges before it gets too late.
IoT Security Challenges
1. Lack of physical security
Attackers tend to attack physical devices located in remote places for a long time. IoT Device manufacturers must ensure the physical security of the devices. However, building secure and low-cost IoT devices will be a challenging task for manufacturers. In 2020, IoT hardware made up one-third of the malware-infected devices.
2. Botnet attacks
A botnet is a collection of malware-infected machines. Attackers use them to bring down a target by sending thousands of requests per minute. In this way, IoT devices can be transformed into a new botnet. It is possible because IoT devices do not get security updates like computers.
3. Absence of visibility
IoT-enabled devices such as coffee machines, refrigerators, and air conditioning systems are not tracked. As these devices don’t have regular security updates, it serves as an entry point to the network for attackers. Security teams could not do anything if they don’t have complete information of devices connected to the network.
4. Industrial Espionage
Privacy is a grave security issue. IoT devices collect user’s information. Hackers may take over the device and use this personal data against the owner. Privacy issue escalates when hackers can collect corporate data. They can either expose it or sell it.
IoT devices with poor security become the target of ransomware. Ransomware encrypts and blocks access to sensitive data. Hackers will ask for ransom for decrypting the files. Though, cases of ransomware are rare in IoT. However, it is the most vulnerable sector at risk in the future.
IoT Security Solutions
Average annual global spending on IoT security measures will reach 631 million in 2021 with a CAGR of approximately 21%. Any device connected to a network is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Let’s try to mitigate these issues with the following solutions.
1. Usage of IoT Security Analytics
Security analytics helps in significantly reducing security issues and potential threats.
It can prevent potential threats by deducing insights from the data collected from various sources. It can also raise an alert over an anomaly in a network by correlating data from different domains. The collection of valuable information helps in the early detection and effective prevention of threats.
2. Endpoint Detection and Response Security
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) security tool helps you in identifying attacks in real-time. It quickly identifies and prevents malicious activities. EDR solutions use IoT data to gain threat intelligence. The threat intelligence can improve the base configuration and deployment of IoT devices in a more secure way.
3. Fortifying Visibility
Every organization must maintain a detailed inventory of all connected devices. It helps in responding to security incidents and taking security-compliant actions.
4. Encrypted Communication
Attackers eavesdrop on the communication to hijack the devices. So, one must encrypt communication between IoT devices and other applications to prevent a data breach. The most common encryptionprotocols are HTTPS, AES 128, and AES 256.
5. Implementing Authentication mechanism
Various authentication mechanisms are available for IoT devices like multi-factor authentication, digital certificates, and biometrics. They can help in reducing the vulnerability of IoT devices.
Securing IoT devices is a collaborative task of the manufacturers as well as users and admins. The manufacturer must focus on encryption and security analytics. And the admins should monitor activities and respond promptly. Let’s decide to turn IoT into the Internet of Secure Things. Share your thoughts about this at firstname.lastname@example.org.