5 Things You Need to Know About IoT Security

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Connectivity, information at the tips of our fingertips, instant communication, and many other benefits come up when we think of the Internet. There’s a catch. The more connected we are, the more at risk we also are. 

This article will discuss the importance of strong protection for smart devices like phones on a hardware and software level. We will also discuss the potential risks of having security flaws for companies and individuals. Things that need to be seriously considered when starting a business or venture of any sort online. 

1. The Basics 

The Internet of things, or IoT, is the concept of connecting any tech device to the internet and its networks. It could also be interpreted as a device capable of connecting to the internet, like a smartphone. Since most of our readers are students, you are most likely in possession of a smartphone.

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Moving on, security in IoT is what is protecting tech devices and the networks they’re connected to. IoT security serves to identify, monitor, protect and find ways to fix any security breaches. Demand for better security is ever-growing. 

2. Deeper Integration Means More Needed Security 

IoT integration has, on the flip side, increased cyber attack potential. Hackers and cybercriminals want to exploit any weaknesses found in smart devices’ security. There are millions of cyberattacks, and most of the public wouldn’t even have the slightest clue about them. 

Online sources claim that by 2025 there will be a projected number of 30 billion devices successfully connected to the net. The integration of the internet in almost the majority of smart devices calls for better security measures.

With a changing landscape and the rapidness of technological growth, the problem lies in balancing the creation of new, highly capable security systems compatible with newer and faster smart devices. 

The more complex a device operates, the better the security systems put in place must be. 

3. Connection Means Risk 

Any device connected to the internet is inevitably and automatically at a security risk since the connection has two sides of a coin. One is instantaneous communication and connection to all other devices, web addresses, etc. (of course, only to the device’s standardized capabilities), and the other side is its exposure to all the risks and malicious cybercriminals that are also using the net. 

4. Potential Security Breaches 

Here are some attacks and breaches that have happened in the past and that can easily happen again during a security breach with your device: 

  • Hackers can launch a DDoS attack (aka Distributed denial of service). This disrupts services and makes websites inaccessible. These attacks are usually coordinated, which means there could be a large number of hackers to deal with if it happens.
  • SQL injection attacks are the act of injecting malicious code. A successful attack can modify a database’s information.
  • IoT operations are typically handled by a centralized Command and Control center and APIs. This centralization creates vulnerabilities in the security of IoT. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by cybercriminals.
  • Zero-day exploits are when hackers exploit a security flaw, with only the hackers being aware that it exists. They tend to sell data they steal to the black market. 
  • Wardriving involves searching for weak Wifi networks in a moving vehicle.

These are obviously executed by hackers. The most common types of attackers consist of amateur hackers, but they can still do damage. There are way more of them than you’d initially think. However, amidst the amateurs and petty criminals, there are cyberespionage groups, terrorists, and even state-sponsored hackers. 

There are extremely dangerous and competent individuals on the internet that are best to be avoided.

5. Tips for Strengthening IoT Security

These are general suggestions that your company/team can apply for future cases: 

  • Managing operational risks: Managing operational risks means evaluating a certain attack’s risk and what its possible effects could be on the IoT’s digital ecosystem.
  • Using encryption: Data encryption can help secure it from data theft and spying. 
  • Keep data analysis processes up-to-date: doing so helps detect problems and potential threats in your network. Start updating to maximize security efficiency. 

IoT Solution Architectures

Solution architectures require multi-layered security approaches to provide end-to-end security from a smart device to the cloud. So, how many layers exactly? Four layers in this case. These four layers are: 

  • Device layer: More designers and producers of software are incorporating security features in hardware components and in their software. Some of these security features include device identity, data at rest, physical security, secure boot, and more. 
  • Communication layer: this layer refers to the mediums through which data is securely received and transmitted. Security components include access control, firewall, etc. 
  • Cloud layer: this signifies the software backend of the IoT solution where data from devices is synthesized to generate insight analytics and to perform actions. Successful cloud services protect against major data breaches, among other things. 
  • The lifecycle management layer: is the overarching layer that keeps IoT solutions up-to-date. This enables good security levels. Security components include activity monitoring, risk assessment, update, etc. 

Final Thoughts 

This article provides a general awareness of what IoT security is all about. We’ve discussed its purpose, potential risks with weak security, and general solutions to common problems with security. 

IoT security demands complex solutions and specialized expertise. Use this article to become more knowledgeable about what you’re dealing with. Contact the relevant professionals for any actual problems you might be experiencing with any of your devices – or if you own a company that needs better IoT security. 

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