Why is it important to secure IoT devices?

Today, we are in a world full of smartphones, smart homes, smartwatches, smart refrigerators, and anything present made into "smart". So, all of these smart devices wouldn't have come into existence without the help of IoT (Internet of Things) technology. Let us look into the tech and how to secure our IoT devices.

What are IoT devices?

The Internet of Things (IoT) technology stack is a collection of technologies, standards, and tools that span the simple connection of devices to the applications that use them, the data they collect and convey, and the several steps required to power them.

  • It's now feasible to turn everything, from a pill to a jet, into a part of the Internet of Things, thanks to the advent of super-cheap computer chips and the widespread availability of wireless networks. Any physical thing connected to the Internet and controlled or communicated information can be transformed into an IoT device.

  • An IoT device is a lightbulb that can be turned on using a smartphone app, just as a motion sensor, a smart thermostat in your office, or a linked streetlight.

  • An Internet of Things gadget could be as cute as a child's toy or as severe as a self-driving truck. Some more extensive devices, such as a jet engine, maybe loaded with numerous smaller IoT components, such as thousands of sensors gathering and relaying data back to ensure it is running efficiently.

On a larger scale, Smart Cities projects are equipping entire regions with sensors to help us better understand and govern the environment. The Internet of Things has enabled the physical and digital worlds to interact and collaborate. It provides several advantages to businesses by automating and simplifying their daily operations. Companies are embracing the immense business potential of IoT as it grows dramatically year after year.

Why is it Important to Secure IoT Devices?

We're on the eve of an explosion of IoT-related products and services, and IoT device security is a problem. Consumers, businesses, and governments have begun to prepare for the IoT, paving the way for an analytical revolution. We will soon connect to every gadget and control every part of our lives, from connected houses to self-driving automobiles, intelligent toasters, to smart buildings.

  • There have already been numerous instances of IoT devices being hacked due to thieves successfully searching for IoT security weaknesses. Industrial robots, as well as the equipment attached to them, have been hacked in some cases.

  • Among other things, hackers can alter control-loop settings, tamper with production logic, and change the robot's status. Cybercriminals will go to any length, including hacking medical devices. As more gadgets become connected, protecting them will become the most challenging task.

  • IoT gadgets will require secure hardware, software, and communication to function appropriately. Any connected equipment can be hacked if IoT security isn't in place, from refrigerators to factory robotics. Hackers can take over the object's functioning and steal the user's digital data once they gain control. In addition, the security of Industrial IoT should not be overlooked.

How to Secure Your IoT Devices?

There are numerous methods for securing IoT network devices and reducing hazards. Because they provide varying levels of protection, some are more sophisticated than others.

Whether you should apply all of the recommended security measures or not depends on your threat model and whether the risk outweighs the effort. Starting with the most straightforward steps and progressing to more intensive solutions.

Set Strong Passwords

Passwords should be double-checked, and all defaults should be skipped. Setting strong passwords and usernames that differ from the default mode is the bare minimum you can do to keep your IoT network and devices safe. Passwords should be changed at least once every 30 to 90 days. If you have an extensive network with many devices, use a password manager to avoid using the same or similar passwords.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

If your password fails, either because it was exposed in a data breach or because an attacker brute-forced it out, you can utilise multi-factor authentication (MFA). The complexity and number of authentication processes you add should be proportional to your threat model and the amount of protection you seek, just like other security measures.

Keep Your Software and Firmware Updated

Firmware keeps you safe by applying the most recent security fixes and reducing the risk of cyber assaults. You can secure your IoT devices by patching any vulnerabilities or exploits as they arise. If possible, enable the option to check for updates automatically.

The bulk of IoT manufacturers send out regular updates, and you may check for new upgrades and security patches on their websites. Because IoT devices have no other layer of security, they must be updated regularly. Updating IoT device software ensures that the device is equipped with the most up-to-date antimalware and antivirus protection.

It also aids the system in cleaning up security issues in earlier software versions. Hackers are constantly refining their schemes to breach your privacy. It is preferable to keep software up to date and be ready for any external threats.

Disconnect the IoT Devices When They are Not is Use

You must be aware of all the functions that your IoT device requires. Most modern items, including refrigerators and televisions, can connect to the Internet. However, that does not imply that you must link them to the Internet. You must scrutinize the features of your gadgets to determine which ones require Internet connectivity to function.

Updated on: 16-Feb-2022


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