The Top Three Security Flaws in IoT and Smart Devices

The Top Three Security Flaws in IoT and Smart Devices-01

Consumers are adopting IoT in droves, even before the devices are fully equipped with safety standards. Since this technology is not mature yet, there are still many challenges that need to be overcome – both by users and manufacturers.

The Internet of Things (IoT) market is seeing rapid growth. The global IoT market was worth $190 billion in 2018, and it is poised to reach $1.11 trillion by 2026. Rapid changes in how IoT devices interact with each other have created a landscape defined by unprecedented security vulnerabilities.

In December 2020, Forescout discovered 33 vulnerabilities impacting four open-source TCP/IP stacks. These act as the foundational connectivity components of millions of devices worldwide. They allow threat actors to target an automated industrial environment or a smart home and use any device as an entry point into the network.

The average cost of a data breach, according to IBM, is just under $4 million, and enterprises need an average of 280 days to identify and contain a breach. Furthermore, the destructive potential of botnets has proliferated over the past few years. They propagate malware, mount DDoS attacks, and spread disinformation on social media. This places a considerable emphasis on the need for reliable security measures in IoT devices.

The need for Increased API Security

APIs are widely used for devices to communicate with one another, but they often lack necessary security measures. If IoT equipment and smart devices don’t collect useful data, then users lack edge-to-end network visibility. Threat actors are continuously searching for exposed API tokens. It’s an easy way to quickly create and leverage a botnet made up of zombie IoT devices.

CISOs and IT teams need to treat APIs like data gateways. There needs to be a constant review of API connections to make security-oriented changes. If an IoT device has an external connection capacity, it should be configured to securely categorize incoming user requests and block unauthorized ones. Security professionals also need to look out for shadow APIs that often go unnoticed, and they must work together to identify outdated APIs.

Outdated Firmware Updating Mechanisms

IoT devices mostly receive firmware updates wirelessly, and this makes them more compelling and easier targets. If IoT devices continue to multiply, new security measures must be taken to secure them from malicious firmware updates. These types of attacks will become frequent if enterprises continue to invest in remotely managed tools that take care of their own firmware updates.

Read More: Addressing Ransomware Threat with Cloud File Storage Systems

When users want to protect a device that doesn’t have user and password credentials, they can use a secure crypto processor which uses a public-private key framework to authenticate incoming requests and firmware updates.

Privacy Protection and Compliance

Privacy protection and compliance regulations are changing the way enterprises operate in fundamental ways.

Devices on the network contain sensitive data about employees. Hence, this data needs to be protected since failing to do so can increase the risk of identity theft and financial fraud. Security teams must actively report breaches, and affected individuals must be informed.

In the case of personally identifiable data, the best solution is to secure it according to industry-standard regulations. To solve this issue, there needs to be a cultural shift in attitude toward the inherent value of user privacy.  Enterprises that have a robust cybersecurity policy in place will be better positioned to respond to personal security concerns.

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