Threats and Issues for Securing IoT Devices

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Threats and Issues for Securing IoT Devices

The strengths of IoT devices could also be their biggest weakness in the sight of cyber-security. How do enterprise security teams keep their networks safe?

With Industry 4.0 and digital transformation on a roll, enterprises are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) devices to ensure productivity. According to market research conducted by Fortune Business Insights, suggests that the global market size of IoT devices was valued at USD 384.70 billion in 2021. The report also predicts that the market will scale from USD 478.36 billion in 2022 to USD 2,456.26 billion by 2029, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.4% during the forecasted period. As the industry-wide adoption increases, the Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) have to keep the IoT systems safe from vulnerabilities and threats. 

Here are a few threats and issues in securing IoT devices that security teams should be aware of, to minimize the risks. 

Vulnerabilities

It is an intricate task for enterprises to secure their IoT devices mainly because many of the systems have a low processing capacity and many do not have adequate inbuilt security features. Another factor that contributes to these vulnerabilities is the restricted budget in designing, developing, and testing firmware, which is due to the cost of the device and the short development cycle span. Apart from the hardware itself, the vulnerabilities in web applications or software can lead to compromised IoT devices. Cybercriminals are on the prowl for compromised systems and other exposures to get into the business network. 

Malware Threats

Even though the IoT systems have a low processing capacity, even with low processing capacity that some systems show, there is a significant threat of being infected by malware. Botnets are the best secret weapon of cybercriminals which helps them accomplish a wide range of scams or malicious activities. These malicious actors use botnets to automate a full-blown attack to get unauthorized access to the server, resulting in a system crash, stealing data, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Botnets are a perfect catalyst weapon for cybercriminals to design, develop, and distribute malware in a short duration. 

Also Read: Security of IoT Devices for Efficient Business Transformation

Full-blown Cyber-attacks

The IoT devices are at risk of an array of cyber-attacks apart from malware threats. Here are some the CISO should be aware of

  • Denial of service (DOS) attacks

The low processing capacity of IoT systems makes them vulnerable to DOS attacks. The malicious attackers flood the target with fake traffic, making it challenging for the system to respond to legitimate requests.

  • Denial of sleep (DOSL) attacks

The IoT systems with sensors are supposed to track the environment constantly, which is backed up by powerful batteries that do not need frequent charging. These devices preserve their batteries by being in sleep mode most of the time. The system administrator controls the awake and sleeps module by defining the Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols. The cybercriminals exploit the MAC vulnerability to execute a DOSL attack to drain the device’s energy to put the sensors in a sleep mode. 

  • Device spoofing

The attacker can exploit this vulnerability if the IoT has not adequately implemented digital signatures or encryptions. For example, the hacker can exploit a Poor Public Key infrastructure (PKI) to spoof a network device and interrupt IoT deployments. 

  • Application-based attacks

If there are security vulnerabilities in the software, firmware, or applications integrated into the system or even in the cloud servers or IT infrastructure, the cybercriminals can exploit IoT devices. 

The IT security teams should be aware of all the possible vulnerabilities, threats, and risks to their IoT devices to minimize the risks. Designing and implementing an effective security strategy will help enterprises keep their IoT network secure. 

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