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The Insecurity of Things revealed

the-insecurity-of-things-revealedIt’s a well-known fact that the Internet of Things opened for us doors that brought us closer to a whole new generation of technology – smart homes, smart cars, smart cities. However, it did much more than that.  It also opened new doors for smart attacks. As much as we would like to think that it’s safe and secure, we need to keep focused. The list of IoT’s vulnerabilities continue, and given the large number of connected devices, the risks are high.

Internet of Things security vulnerabilities:

  • Web interface insecurities – The interface which consumers use to interact with the connected devices plays a vital role, and that’s why it is mandatory to be as secure as possible. If hackers find even a small security gap, they will break if there are weak credentials, access the web and perform DoS attacks or take over devices. The rest is history unless you have the right strategy to protect yourself. Changing your credentials on a regular basis, and enabling protocols that prevent them from being accessed by an unauthorized person might help prevent a data breach.
  • Insecure Authentication – Insufficient authorization methods are yet another vulnerability hackers love to exploit to the fullest. Unfortunately, there are still many companies that are not using multi-factor authentication methods, making it much easier for hackers to access their IoT network, which ultimately leads to the compromise of devices. In this case, the best practices are to use end-to-end or two-factor encryption, as well as different layers of authentication. Ideally this is like a labyrinth. Hackers would need to bypass multiple barriers until reaching your network, the stronger the encryption, the more time it takes for a hacker to break in and ultimately could deter the hacker to move on to the next target.
  • Insecure Software – It goes without saying that software is a valuable pawn in securing your business environment. If it is not secured properly and does not run in optimal conditions, it could give hackers another way to break into your system. This issue is not without a solution. As long as you keep your software updated with the latest security protocols and make sure that the software or firmware patches have been accurately applied, you are more secure.

Now that we have reviewed the IoT’s vulnerabilities, let’s see also what are the main threats that it’s facing:

  • IoT Ransomware – This is not the same as a traditional ransomware threat.  The difference between these two is that IoT Ransomware goes beyond the computer, making it much more dangerous. Moreover, given the fact that it’s irreversible, it could cause real damages. Imagine what would happen if the whole electricity grid or traffic lights would be shut down. Even though IoT ransomware is quite difficult to prevent, we still need to do everything we can, starting from locking the firmware and processor up to encrypting the communication between our devices.
  • Phishing – Unwillingly, employees might put your business in danger, make no mistake. Phishing scams are more and more used by hackers to get their hands on credentials or confidential information. What they need to do is to simply send an email to one of your employees, using a management credential, requiring certain information. Just like that, private data is accessed. This could be easily prevented by properly training your employees on attacks.
  • IoT Thingbots – The large number of unsecured connected devices opens a new door for botnets which are here to stay. Hackers usually use the to gain access to critical infrastructure to the company’s network. Once again, using cybersecurity best practices like avoid connecting IoT devices to the internet without a firewall, set strong passwords and update your firmware regularly might save you from a botnet attack.

Internet of Things is an insecure environment and it’s our job to keep it safe from intruders, that’s if we still want to reap the benefits from it. Security is a top priority these days, and we’d better use all our resources to maintain it at a high level. I hope you enjoyed the article and I am waiting for your comments below!

Photo source: https://pixabay.com

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