Your Smart Device Can Get Hacked Too!
Need Of Cybersecurity For IoT
The IOT devices have become a part of everyday life and we dont even think of living without those. Consumer connected devices such as smart TVs, smart speakers, toys, wearables such as smart watches and smart appliances. Smart meters, commercial security systems and smart city technologies — such as those used to monitor traffic and weather conditions — are examples of industrial and enterprise IoT devices. Other technologies, including smart air conditioning, smart thermostats, smart lighting and smart security, span home, enterprise and industrial uses.
Even though, IoT has several application benefits, it also poses serious security threats. For cyber attackers, IoT devices are valuable as they can acquire sensitive information, target servers, hijack conversations. The vulnerabilities present in IoT allow a passage for exploitation and even a minor vulnerability can result in system hijack, loss of control, bankruptcy and network breakdown.
Since most IoT components cannot support complex security mechanisms therefore, at times, cyber threats are launched against IoT devices. These threats may range from cyberattack on automated systems such as heat or light control system. Adoption of IoT technology whether in homes, business, industries unlocks doors for security needs, therefore, it is important to maintain strict cyber hygiene.
In today’s time, cyber attackers are much advanced in employing new techniques to get through the gateway. Through a single successful attempt, attacker can access confidential information by accessing everything from IP. Often, the attacks are sophisticated and undetectable and with the rise of development, new threats are constantly emerging.
Most of the threats target data as stolen confidential data such as login credentials, financial transactions, emails or messages can significantly benefit attackers. They can manipulate the data and ask for ransom. IT is the most common motivation for cyber attackers. We define data leakage as the unauthorised access of data within an organization In order to misuse the confidential information. Usually the data leakage threats occur via the web and email but, nowadays, mobile data storage such as USB and laptop are also vulnerable for data leakage threats
Every now and then we see the news headlines about a confidential data breach causing losses of millions and billions. Data leakage is also called the data theft, it’s a very significant problem for data security as it can pose severe damages to any organisation’s reputation and financial stability. Data leakage threats affect all industries irrespective of their size therefore it’s very important to protect network and data system against data theft attacks
Types of IoT devices
IoT, a broader aspect
IoT refers to connection of physical entities with the internet. It also refers to future face development of internet with physical devices embedded with sensors for communication. Most of the IoT devices employ sensor-based technologies where sensors identify any change which is later analysed to gather information for the end-user. For enterprises, sensors have a role of data collector, cloud computing is used for analysis of data and with the help of Big data analytics, raw data is transformed into knowledgeable insights. Deployment and usage of IoT varies from one organization to other. For example, IoT deployment for retail will be different from that of health care sector.
Refer to Figure-1, which shows the different types of IoT devices[m2] .
IOT Market share
IOT market is expanding at an explosive rate. There are expected to be 50 billion IOT devices in operation by 2020.In the present state, the most popular application of IoT is machine to machine (M2M) communication which is extensively used in various industries ranging from e-commerce, transportation, public service to power and health care sector (Jiang Du, 2010). M2M application generates heavy revenue for enterprises and it is expected that revenue generated will reach to 714 billion euros by the end of 2020 (S Andreev, 2012)
How can you protect your IOT Devices from getting compromised?
In today’s fast pace digital world, we generate, store and share large amounts of information. Nowadays, every individual possesses at least two devices connected to the cloud. These internets-connected IoT devices are constantly growing and they have become an important asset of our personal and professional lives. According to Gartner about 5.5 million IoT devices are connected every day in 2016 and it’s expected that use of IoT devices will increase to 20 billion by 2020. On one side, IoT devices provide convenience, comfort with its smart features of communication and connectivity but on the other side they pose a series of security concerns such as exposure to viruses, malware attacks, data theft, privacy issues and so on. However, there are certain ways through which a user can protect his IoT devices from being compromised.
Some of them are listed below:
Turn off Plug and Play
Often you might have seen that your Iot devices automatically connects to the internet and with other devices. For example, smartwatch connects automatically with the user’s smartphone when its turned on. Similarly, devices like headset, routers, cameras, have the option to connect to cloud and automate connection. Such actions upon execution provide a path for vulnerabilities which can be easily exploited by hackers. Therefore, before integrating a new IoT device in the network, turn off universal plug and play to prevent your device from getting compromised.
Knowledge about device connection
You should always have a sound knowledge about your device’s connection. User must be aware of which device and network is connected to his device. Also, one should have information about device vulnerabilities so that he may figure out which device has security flaws. One must monitor his connection to ensure that no vulnerable device is connected to it. A regular network connections monitoring can greatly help in protecting IoT devices from being compromised.
Choosing secure password
Since, all IoT devices are passwords protected, and a guessable or obvious password can easily lead to vulnerabilities. Therefore, it’s vital to use secure passwords to secure your devices. Any device which is least protected when connect to network becomes a gateway to hacking and it can cause all connected devices to be at security risk. A user must always ensure that his passwords contain a combination of alphabets, numbers and symbols, this makes passwords secure and harder to be exploited.
Regular upgradation of device
Regular upgradation of device software is important as they help in eliminating any bugs that were associated with the previous version. It’s a great way to eliminate vulnerabilities. Many of the IoT devices which are not regularly updated contain security holes and hackers can easily manipulate them to compromise the security of device.
Deploy IoT protection services
In case your IoT device contain vulnerabilities, the best way is to deploy an IoT protection service which provides an extra layer of protection to your IoT devices. Particularly, smart devices like laptops and smartphones are most vulnerable. An IoT protection service offers a hard security against the latest viruses and malwares and in case of any network intrusion, IoT protection service can act in real time to take suitable action to prevent the attack.
If a user has constant usage of multiple IoT devices such as laptops, smartwatches, smart phone, smart locking system etc then the best practise is to create network segmentation for all these devices so that in case of an attack, one device may not infect others. Nowadays, several routers have the option to create separate network for multiple devices to avoid devices from being compromised.
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