Why Securing the Internet of Things (IoT) is Crucial


Imagine life just two decades ago—the internet wasn’t a necessity. Today, it’s a different story. Internet-connected devices are everywhere, from our bedrooms to our office cubicles. They help us track our sleep, make coffee from afar, and even find our lost pets—all with just a few clicks. Although these connected hardware components have become very common—there are nearly 15 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices in use presently, which is anticipated to increase twofold by 2030—they typically trade off convenience for security. Every device that gets added creates a fresh, vulnerable entry point into the network, expanding its attack area.

Well, this is where IoT security comes in.

Do You Know What is IoT Security?

IoT security refers to safeguarding IoT networks and devices from online dangers. As these devices need to connect to the internet often, they can be easily targeted by attackers or other cybercriminals. Methods of security and technologies are required for protecting the IoT networks as well as its devices from these dangers.
Having said that, you might want to hire cybersecurity auditors to assess your current IoT security posture and identify potential vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
Check out our latest post on Vulnerability Summary Reports by Cybernetic GI – March 2024

Top Reasons Why Securing IoT Devices Are Important?

With the increasing prevalence of IoT devices, the risk of unauthorised network access also rises. These devices were not created with any security mechanisms in mind. In many instances, installing security software afterwards is not possible.

IoT Devices as Hacker Gateways

As per the cybersecurity experts at Cybernetic Global Intelligence “A hacker might not care about your house being warm, but a smart thermostat could be an entry point to access valuable data such as personal and confidential records that can be sold on the dark web.”

According to a report from cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks, which scanned 1.2 million IoT devices across business and health care organisations, it was discovered that 98 percent of all IoT-device traffic was not encrypted. The lack of security in such a large portion puts public safety and economic stability in greater danger.

Even though IoT devices are the epitome of convenience when it comes to smart home automation, every new device adds a new access point to the network’s cloud storage. The fact that more and more of our businesses, critical infrastructure, and personal lives are being monitored by IoT devices, highlights the urgency of IoT security.

Inexperienced Manufacturers Not Focussing on Security

Numerous new manufacturers are entering this IoT world, and they have not been trained in the art of security. The situation is similar to the beginning of personal computers, when those who made these devices were ignorant about the difficulties computer users could encounter later on due to a lack of built-in protections. Additionally, programming Internet of Things (IoT) devices is more difficult compared with creating traditional software programs. They need programmers who know more about kernel and OS internals compared to regular programmers.

Top Tips to Secure IoT Devices

When security is not embedded, a user needs to be active and deliberate about security. Here are some tips from the professionals:

Profile Every Device

Step one in IoT security: Find out what IoT devices are present within your network. After you unbox an IoT device, it can automatically connect to a user’s network. Yet, many of these devices go unnoticed by routine endpoint and security scans. Knowing where your devices are—either by finding their IP address yourself or using an IoT monitoring tool—gives you better control over managing all your IoT devices on the network.

Segment Devices

Segmentation, specifically at the device level, involves separating a network into distinct parts. This is done for various reasons, such as improving bandwidth performance or enhancing security. In this process, devices are able to communicate with other devices in their own segment, and some are quarantined or fenced off in their own subnet.

Zero-Trust Architectures

A zero-trust method for IoT security works with the idea that everything is in danger. Every user must be “authenticated, authorised, and continuously validated,” refusing default access to everyone—even those linked to permissioned networks. When given entry, only certain users are allowed to access the data and functionality of applications relevant to their job.

Update Software

Software updates mend faults, implement security fixes, and improve a device’s operational smoothness. It also indicates that hackers have the ability to exploit published open-source vulnerabilities from previous versions of software. If it is feasible, you should allow automatic updates for the software or firmware managing your IoT security.

Change Default Passwords

IoT devices come with pre-set login details that are often not changed by many users, and for hackers, sometimes all it takes is a basic search on the internet. Make sure to create strong custom passwords, use multiple authentication factors when available, and don’t use weak or easily guessed passwords in order to protect yourself against cyber criminals.

Also read Insider Threats Unveiled: Former Employee’s Account Breach Shakes State Government

Final Thoughts

The explosive growth in interconnected devices has created a strong demand for IoT security. While these devices bring great convenience, their natural weaknesses can make our personal data and privacy vulnerable to hacking. However, if we take steps to protect ourselves with an active attitude towards IoT security—checking our network for linked items, dividing the network into segments, applying zero-trust architectures, keeping software up-to-date, and changing initial passwords can decrease these dangers greatly.

Are you worried about the security of your IoT devices? For peace of mind, let the experts conduct a comprehensive cybersecurity audit. To know more, contact us at 1300 292 376 or via email at contact@cybernetic-gi.com or visit our website https://www.cyberneticgi.com/.

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