Over the past few years, IoT has revolutionized many industries by enabling physical devices such as HVAC systems, Vehicles, and Appliances among others to connect over the internet. This digital ecosystem led by IoT is being entrenched in consumers’ lives as well as business and government processes. It has become one of the fundamental trends driving the digital transformation of businesses and the economy as a whole.
Nevertheless, becoming part of the IoT ecosystem opens up businesses and other end users to different types of security risks. While companies compete to bring the latest product to the market, most of them, if not all, miss out on making them secure. Numerous security flaws exist in the IoT devices that we use every day, making them vulnerable and thus putting consumer data at stake. In what follows, we will be discussing the most prevalent security concerns that must be considered to mitigate the risk for IoT products
Lack of Updates
According to Statista, the number of IoT devices in use has climbed to 43 billion since 2020 worldwide. The tremendous increase in the number of IoT-connected devices isn’t without its repercussions. Inconsistency is the main issue with all the corporations that produce these gadgets especially when it comes to dealing with device-related security issues and threats. Most of these linked devices do not receive adequate security upgrades, and some of them are never updated at all.
Devices that were formerly assumed to be secure have become utterly weak and insecure as technology evolves, making them vulnerable to cybercriminals and hackers.
Manufacturers compete with one another to release their products at the earliest, with little regard for security concerns and susceptibilities. The majority of manufacturers offer over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates. Nonetheless, these upgrades cease as soon as they begin functioning on their new device, leaving their current generation open to attacks.
Companies that fail to deliver regular security upgrades for their gadgets expose their customers to potential cyber-attacks and data breaches.
IoT Devices Conscripted into Botnets
Smart IoT devices, similar to devices that have been hijacked and turned into email servers for bulk spam, can also be used as botnets for DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) cyberattacks. Hackers have previously utilized baby monitors, webcams, streaming boxes, printers, and even smartwatches to launch large-scale DDoS attacks. Manufacturers must understand the hazards involved with IoT-connected equipment and take all necessary security precautions.
Use of Default Passwords
Most companies send gadgets with default passwords and do not even inform their clients that they need to switch them later. This is one of the most serious IoT security issues since default passwords are widely known, and hackers can readily obtain them by brute forcing. Because of weak credentials, some IoT-connected systems are prone to brute-forcing and password hacking. Companies that use unsafe credentials on their IoT devices expose their consumers and their businesses to direct attacks and infection via brute-force attempts.
Wikileaks documents revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States (CIA) had been hacking into IoT devices and turning on cameras and microphones without the owners’ knowledge. The notion that attackers may gain access to your devices and record the owners without their knowledge is alarming.
Poor Authentication Protocols
With so many IoT-connected gadgets flooding the market, manufacturers have disregarded the fact that each device requires a suitable and strong authenticator. Poor authorization procedures frequently result in users being granted more access than they are authorized to.
Most devices lack password complexity, weak default credentials, encryption, two-factor authentication, and insecure password recovery. These security flaws can easily allow hackers to gain unauthorized access to devices and networks.
Hackers are mainly looking for data, which includes, but is not limited to, customer names, addresses, credit card numbers, financial information, and other details. Even if a company has strong IoT security, fraudsters can leverage a variety of attack routes.
One susceptible IoT device, for example, is enough to bring down an entire network and give access to important data. If such a gadget is linked to a corporate network, hackers can acquire access and extract all valuable data to either exploit or sell it for a significant sum of money.
Lack of Time or Money
Most consumers and companies do not invest in a secure IoT infrastructure because it is too time-consuming or expensive. This should change. Otherwise, firms would be suffering significant financial losses as a result of a cyberattack.
Data is the most valuable thing that any company can have. A data breach results in a monetary loss of millions. Hence, investing in a secure IoT system may be less pricey than a huge data breach.
The Internet of Things is unquestionably a game-changer, and it’s only going to grow with time. Unfortunately, the larger it expands, the more challenges it will welcome.
Developing an IoT product with compromised security won’t be a good idea and can lead to serious implications.
As businesses progress in today’s digitized market, cyber security has become highly important, nonetheless, progression and revolution bring change which ultimately brings uncertainty, questions, and new challenges.
With over 18 years of experience in creating custom applications, we understand how to cater to the security concerns of every customer. Users can reach out to us for a free consultation regarding common IoT security threats anytime.