Internet of Things or IoT is the latest technology trend. More than 23 billion devices were connected to the Internet in 2018. According to experts, more than 75 billion devices are going to be connected with the internet by 2025. These devices are making our lives more productive and easier.
The increasing popularity of IoT devices has also raised a lot of security challenges and issues. If your device is connected to the internet, then hackers can attack it to get sensitive data. Most of the IoT providers are using hardcoded or default passwords. Thus, attackers can easily guess your IoT device’s password. There are also many other vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers for gaining remote access to your device. In this article, we are going to talk about the top 6 IoT security challenges that every enterprise should keep in mind before deploying these IoT devices.
6 Major IoT security challenges
Unsecured IoT devices
The biggest problem with edge computing and IoT devices is that they can increase the surface area of your organization network. Most of these devices can open loopholes in your network. According to most of the security experts, a single unsecured IoT device connected to your network is enough to hack your whole network. It can act as a point of entry for hackers. Hackers can use malware or other active hacking attacks to hack these devices.
Another major issue with IoT devices is that they can quickly move from one network to another network. For example, your employees might be connecting their laptops with a public WiFi network in a library. They might use the same device for connecting with your company network. An attacker can use the public WiFi network for hacking into your employee device. They can use the same hacked device for hacking into your company network.
Outdated software and hardware
The demand for IoT devices is increasing in the market. Thus, IoT manufacturers are focusing on building new devices. They are not issuing security updates for their old devices.
Most of these IoT devices don’t get updated by their manufacturers. These IoT products are only secure at the time of their launch. But, they will become vulnerable to hacking attacks once the attackers find any security issues or bugs.
If these issues are not fixed by the manufacturer, then your device will remain vulnerable to hacking attacks. It is very important to issue regular updates for the devices that are connected to the internet. These vulnerabilities can lead to data breach of both the companies and customers.
Most of the IoT devices are using default or weak credentials. Their username and password are set to admin. Attackers only need your device password and username to attack it. If an attacker knows about your device username, then they can easily carry out a brute-force attack. Thus, it becomes very easy for them to hack into your devices.
One of the most famous examples of this attack was the Mirai botnet attack. More than 600,000 IoT devices were affected by this attack. You should change your device password and username after getting your device. But, most of the IoT device makers don’t tell you how to change your username. Thus, most of the consumers don’t change their device username and password.
Most of the IoT devices are vulnerable to some kind of attack. Every device in your network has its own vulnerabilities and features that can be exploited by hackers. These devices can also create errors that can disrupt the working of other devices in your network. Hackers can use these devices for shutting down your network or stealing your data. It is difficult to make sure that all the devices connected to your network are updated. Any new device in your network can open various loopholes in your network. Most of the IoT devices are using open-source software. This software can be easily edited by attackers who want to hack into your networks.
Lack of Data Encryption
All the data that is transmitted online is encoded. This data can be only retrieved by the original user. But, hackers are always looking for some way to steal your data. Most of the IoT devices don’t have much storage space available. They also lack processing capabilities which can be found in laptops or computers. Thus, the encryption algorithms used by these IoT devices are actually very easy to decode. Hackers can manipulate these encryption algorithms for finding real data.
There are various technical vulnerabilities present in IoT devices. But, these vulnerabilities can become worse when consumers don’t know about them. Most of the employees don’t think about the security risks of connecting their smartphones with the business network. You should teach your employees about the security risks of IoT devices. Make sure that they are not connecting their vulnerable devices to the business network. Your employees need to understand that connecting their work laptop with home stereo can potentially compromise their laptops.
IoT adoption is still in its early days. More and more people are buying IoT devices. Unfortunately, there aren’t many security standards for IoT devices. Everything that is connected to the Internet is vulnerable to hacking attacks. Thus, most organizations are struggling in implementing the security policies that are needed for protecting their data. You have to make sure that all the devices are updated and secured. It is also important to educate your employees about the risks of IoT devices. Enterprises can take this one step forward by creating highly resilient networks. This will reduce the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.