Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becoming ubiquitous while IoT services are becoming pervasive. Their success has not gone unnoticed, and the number of threats and attacks against IoT devices and services is also increasing. Cyber-attacks are not new to IoT, but as IoT will be deeply interwoven in our lives and societies, it is becoming necessary to step up and take cyber defense seriously. Hence, there is a real need to secure IoT, resulting in a condition to understand the threats and attacks on IoT infrastructure comprehensively. This article attempts to classify the threats, and defenses for IoT security.
- Standards gap and manufacturer noncompliance:
Currently, no global standard exists for IoT cybersecurity. While some regional recommendations exist, the lack of a unified standard or international regulations leaves IoT manufacturers to their own devices concerning security. As a result, many IoT manufacturers fail to comply with essential cybersecurity best practices. This means that these Internet-connected devices often create security holes within enterprise networks.
- Remote recording:
A hacker can attack a smart camera in an organization and record video footage of everyday business activities. With this approach, cybercriminals can acquire confidential business information secretly. Such IoT security threats will also lead to significant privacy violations. To mitigate their effects, business leaders need to be updated about IoT security threats and create a holistic cybersecurity strategy before utilizing IoT infrastructure for their organization.
- Advanced persistent threats:
Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are a significant security concern for various organizations. An advanced persistent threat is a targeted cyber-attack, where an intruder gains illegal access to a network and stays undetected for a prolonged time. Attackers aim to monitor network activity and steal crucial data using advanced persistent threats.
- Social engineering:
Hackers use social engineering to manipulate people into giving up sensitive information such as passwords and bank details. Alternatively, cybercriminals may secretly use social engineering to access a system for installing malicious software. Usually, social engineering attacks are executed using phishing emails, where an attacker must develop convincing emails to manipulate people. However, social engineering attacks can be simpler to execute in the case of IoT devices.
If you don't currently have a robust IoT device security plan in place or are planning to incorporate IoT devices into your IT infrastructure, here are some useful steps you can follow for better, more comprehensive security:
- Harden all IoT devices:
You should take a multi-pronged approach to device security that includes securing vulnerabilities, such as transmission control protocol (TCP)/user datagram protocol (UDP) ports, open password prompts, and places to insert code and even radio connections. Doing so will boost your overall device security posture and decrease risk. In addition, once devices are in use, change the passwords to complex passwords that are difficult to replicate. This can help reduce the risk of a breach.
- Secure your networks:
ake advantage of strong user authentication protocols so only authorized users can access your networks. Users may complain about the inconvenience, but it's worth the effort to make it harder for external users to break through the extra layers of authentication. Context-aware authentication is especially useful with IoT applications, providing an added security element. Network-layer and transport-layer encryption are also best practices for decreasing risk.
- Adopt Secure Password Practices:
Poor password security practices fuel password-related attacks on IoT devices. Therefore, maintaining strong password security is critical to securing your IoT endpoints. Many IoT devices come with weak preset passwords that are easy to find online. The password should be difficult to guess, unique to each secured device, and in line with your IT security team's password policies and management practices.
- Actively Monitor IoT Devices at All Times:
Since traditional endpoint security solutions require software agents, IoT devices are not designed to take traditional solutions to protect IoT assets. Implement a real-time monitoring solution that continuously analyzes the behavior of all your network-connected IoT endpoints by seamlessly integrating with your existing security posture and next-generation firewall investment.
Organizations need modern and intricate security ratings and assessment platforms to address the threats of today and predict the needs of tomorrow.
GlobalSign IoT Device Identity Platform is a digital identity architecture designed and built for the demanding and evolving specifications of the IoT and IIoT. It protects IoT Devices, data, and communications from chip to cloud through encryption, authentication, and authorization. It is a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)-based platform that delivers exceptional encrypted security and provisions secure digital certificates backed by the trusted GlobalSign Certificate Authority (CA).
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