IoT Security issues are quite a challenge for this burgeoning industry. There is a growing number of devices, applications and systems which turn to IoT. This helps them to upscale their efficiency and their services and to make life easier for users. So let us take a closer look at the industry.
This buzzing, new industry sports cutting-edge technology. It enhances digitisation while at the same time it produces demanding challenges. But before we delve into these in more detail, let us have a look at the state of IoT at the moment.
According to a report by IoT Analytics there are over 17 Billion devices connected to IoT. As one can understand, this number will only multiply in the coming years. The devices connected to IoT range greatly. From Smart Home Automation devices, routers, printers to thermostats, refrigerators and cameras. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant too. Smart locks, smart watches, ATMs, industrial machines, manufacturing processes and applications. Smart clothing items, drones, solar panels, automobile navigation, infotainment systems, advanced medical devices. The list is long and it is updated as more types of devices, gadgets and applications are added.
Regardless of the technology or the number of IoT devices, the main challenge remains one: That is Security and everything about it.
With the number of connected devices on the rise, consumers play an integral part in Security. Manufacturers upon launching a device, should equip it with a strong default password. They should also advise consumers on how to make their lives with smart gadgets more secure. Most consumers are not well-informed about the significance of changing the default password on their devices. Thus, the responsibility falls on the manufacturers to maintain a more secure network and to educate the consumers of the necessary steps they need to take.
Nowadays, power plants, manufacturing processes and healthcare devices connect to IoT. These critical infrastructures constitute IoT a treasure trove of data. One mistake in security and precious confidential data might end up in the hands of criminals. One leak in Privacy and hackers can gain access to confidential, private data. Data transmission and reception as well as maintaining the privacy of the users must be a top priority of the IoT industry. With so many applications, gadgets and processes connected, even lives can be at stake. This is one of the reasons why Security-by-design is a great solution, particularly for Enterprise IoT.
As the number of connected devices is in constant rise, one of the major IoT security issues is keeping the devices updated. Though IoT is a highly-digitised industry, it is amazing to see that the devices used, do not receive many updates. All the gadgets, applications and devices need to be sufficiently tested before launched. Then, they should be updated frequently, with patches and releases enhancing their security.
Some digitised appliances and some gadgets too, have the same computer power as a tablet. This means that they can be compromised, hijacked by hackers. Then, they can become a powerful weapon which hackers can use to compromise the system in many ways. At WoTT, we believe that IoT security is a complicated issue. It can not be achieved by obfuscation; on the contrary, it should be Open-Source where knowledge of operations is shared and put to good use.
One of the ways IoT devices can be used by hackers is to cause DDoS attacks. Hackers hijack computers and add them to a network of malicious botnets conducting DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks result when multiple compromised systems flood the resources of a targeted system with traffic. Thus, as it is easy for computers to be hijacked and participate in a DDoS attack without the owner knowing, so are smart devices, appliances and gadgets too. They can be compromised and used by a hacker.
Assuming that there is a compromise of some sort in an IoT device or gadget many things can go wrong. First, you may no longer have control of it - or lose availability. This has a financial impact, of course. Yet, there are many other parameters and ways in which a hijacked device can affect you, your life and everything around it. Hackers may turn your IoT device into a spam machine sending spam emails to everyone - damaging your reputation. They can transmit false signals, such as a false battery charging report - disrupting your operation. Worse yet, hackers can compromise entire networks to interfere with entire manufacturing plants, energy grids or fleets of vehicles. What is truly scary is the potential for loss of life when thinking of medical devices or heavy machinery.
We at WoTT aim at making the IoT industry a web of trusted devices, applications and gadgets. A place where security is of primary importance. WoTT is the go-to place as the network of connected devices grows. Security, knowledge and collaboration between devices, manufacturers and developers is our philosophy. So, we bring to you a developer first Solution to manage certificates and credentials, and find vulnerabilities in your build.
Did you know that WoTT gives you free security audits, including CVE scanning, for your first node? Sign up today.