IoT Security Is a Nightmare, Here’s What You Need to Know
Over the years, Cybersecurity has grown so much to become a severe issue, especially since online services are becoming more ingrained in our everyday lives. The number of items connected in our homes, offices and even personal lives is growing at an exponential rate. Connected devices have improved so much that they are now predicted to outnumber the human population by 2021. This statistic will only continue to grow at a fast rate since IoT technology is starting to gain more grounds in fields like healthcare, industrial control systems, and car manufacturing.
The rise of the internet of things (IoT) technology comes with a lot of advantages to our personal lives, but it also brings benefits to hackers and cybercriminals as well.
The IoT security nightmare has already started. It has been the root of severe concerns across the world. For years now, hackers have exploited the weak security systems which are embedded in IoT devices. There is, however, new evidence that shows that companies are now taking IoT security threat a lot more seriously than they used to a decade ago.
However, to make the security systems to work, we need to be smart as users and monitor what we do on the web. So, what happens if you neglect IoT on your device? Although there are countless reasons why you should not ignore online security, this article will focus on three significant threats facing IoT.
Hackers Look for Entry Points
If you were a thief and you wanted to take someone’s belongings, would you instead target a house with bug dogs, cameras, and a security system? The same logic applies for cybercriminals. In other words, they scout the internet looking for weak points, and they try to locate new victim’s t target using bots.
Sometimes these individuals may only be after specific information. But other times, they may be after whatever that can get their hands on. Generally speaking, home, banking and personal information are what these criminals go after the most.
In some cases, however, the hacker will go after health information from hospitals so that they can access information about some individual patients. They might also try to obtain the information stored on your vehicle’s software system so that they can track your location and then remotely take over the control panel. That is scary!
The main idea behind this hacking method is not to get data but to steal small pieces of information about your life. Your banking information, for example, provides hackers with access to your finances — the personal information like your Social Security number and your vehicle’s control panel or your GPS. The other shows them where you travel the most. This typically shows them where you live and work, which is all the information they need to steal your identity.
Always remember that the most common type of hijacking usually occurs when a device is connected to something that has an easy access point. This can be anything, ranging from webcams to home theatre speakers which are connected to your Wi-Fi.
Privacy Issues Become a Major Concern
IoT devices generate a lot of data, and some of this data can be confidential, which is why laws usually protect it. Other data that is generated by cars, one appliance and even gadgets might not be as sensitive, but when these things are combined with data from your refrigerator, motion sensors and smart household items, it can give away too much information about your personal life. So this makes privacy a number one concern.
Additionally, the way data is stored and distributed can also complicate Cybersecurity, which is why it’s been a highly debated topic. For the most majority of smart devices, data is stored on a cloud server and later used by service providers to find ways to improve the user’s experience.
Despite all the regulations in place, data protection and cloud security are not nearly enough to address the issues surrounding IoT security. How much authority should cloud server vendors have over the data they collect? How should encryption and protection laws keep users safe? Whom are they sharing this information with? These are the questions lawmakers, and tech experts need to answer.
If someone contacts you claiming that they have a solution that is 100 per cent foolproof, please don’t listen. That is because IoT security issues and ransomware go far beyond data theft, financial attacks and network hacking. So, how do you protect yourself and your personal information against ransomware?
The easiest way to tackle this problem is by trying to adapt, implement, and practice using safety measures recommended by manufacturing companies. Some general safety tips to keep in mind, for example, include checking the reliability of the website you are visiting, setting up double authentication for specific user accounts, and managing passwords. Other safety points users should start thinking about include:
- Making sure your devices are secured with network firewalls. remember, there are generic firewalls and IoT-specific firewalls.
- Ensuring that suspicious devices are removed from your network.
- Update your devices regularly and make sure to look for weak points in your network.
- Change all factory set and generic passwords for security purposes.
- Always manage your devices effectively.
IoT ransomware can be frustrating; and while security software options don’t guarantee complete safety, they do fill many gaps that are created due to user carelessness. No one can deny the fact that IoT will become an essential part of our lives within the coming months, and our security needs some serious attention.
With all that being said, users should always follow the best possible online security measures and make it a point to provide an online defence whenever they are on the web or connected to a network.
Have you been a victim of an IoT breach or a victim to cybercriminals? Let us know in the comments section.