The ever-evolving internet has come into our lives and turned it upside down but with every great invention come unavoidable risks and disadvantages. Security in the virtual world might be the number one concern because any compromise in it can result in privacy breaches, data leaks and financial losses. Actually, Microsoft has stated that 500 billion dollars is the potential cost of cybercrime to the global community.
One invention that has been sneaking its way into our everyday lives and taking the world by storm is Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet and networks expand to more than your phone and computer and reach your car, home appliances, office equipment, hospitals, factories, cities and much more. The potentials of this revolutionary technology are endless but there are also plenty security concerns. In this article, we will discuss some of them and offer you a solution to each one:
A study by HP revealed that 70% of IoT devices are vulnerable to attacks. From the windscreen wipers of smart cars to pacemakers, everything is exposed to hacking because most of these devices are designed to make your life easier and not for security purposes. Since data is the new currency, hackers will do everything possible to get their hands on it, legally or not. The concern does not only stop at commercial devices, industrial and commercial systems are also at risk.
No measure of security is too much when it comes to protecting your privacy and personal information from hackers, especially, while you are using IoT technology. You have to use every privacy trick available to secure the network, from antiviruses and anti-malwares to detection systems and firewalls. Companies and factories that use IoT systems should additionally employ a professional IT engineer to manage the privacy of the systems. Ottawa IT services experts from Firewall Technical state that IT support is critical to the profitability and success of your business. It is also important for its privacy.
The same aforementioned study by HP also found that 70% IoT devices did not encrypt communications to the internet and local network and 60% did not use encryption when downloading software updates. This insufficiency of encryption is concerning because the encryption should work to protect your personal data and information from leaks or breaches.
To ensure that your devices are encrypting every piece of information being transferred, you need to use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol while you are online. Also, make sure that your wireless protocol has inbuilt encryption to encrypt your data while it is being transferred wirelessly as well.
Authentication is another issue that affects the security of IoT devices. Even after your data has been encrypted, you should authenticate it because the risks of hacking are still possible. The challenges of authenticating all IoT devices are many because coming up with proper mechanisms to authenticate IoT devices is not easy. Also, since the amount of IoT devices being used is growing, it is growing to be difficult to differentiate which is authorised and authenticated and which is not.
To address this issue, you need to start with securing sessions with efficient key establishment. Also, use robust authentication, such as two-factor authentication or digital certificate. Plus, you should change the default password of the devices and use an original one following the Mirai incident, when a malware named “Mirai” was used to hack into internet devices and turn them to controlled bots. The attack targeted IoT security cameras and home routers that still used their default usernames and passwords.
Hardware manufacturers haven’t caught up with the IoT technology just yet, unlike the software industry. Any malfunction in the device can mean that it needs replacement, all of it. You cannot just download a solution. Another problem with IoT hardware, the chips can be on the expensive side when they are manufactured to meet all of your needs, including efficient capacity and latency.
To minimize these challenges, the first thing companies must do after manufacturing any IoT device is testing. Find out their scalability, reconfigurability, latency and capacity. You as a buyer, must research the device you are planning to buy and see if it fits your needs and answers your concerns. Know the device you will trust with your privacy and security. Also, do not buy devices that are not certificated or legal.