The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity. IoT devices are becoming increasingly popular and are being used in various settings, including homes, businesses, and industries.
While IoT provides many benefits, such as improved efficiency and convenience, it also brings new security risks. In this article, we will discuss IoT security, including the key factors that impact it, threats, and breaches.
We’ve previously discussed IoT and what it is. In short, it’s a collaboration between your devices - that’s computers, tablets, smartphones etc. These devices can communicate by being connected to the same WiFi-connection. As we also note in our blog post on IoT, it’s an incredible invention but it also increases the surface of attack because our devices are connected and thus there are more devices to attack.
As we know, smart devices can be connected to WiFi - which makes them “smart”. An IoT ecosystem consists of several devices connected to the same WiFi network. These devices send and receive data among each other - doing this makes them able to co-orperate and they can thus execute different actions together.
Many big companies and organizations use ML (machine learning) and AI in connection with IoT to make their systems more efficient. It makes the user experience better and more smooth - which in the end enhances sales and reputation for the companies.
So, in order for us to secure our IoT better, we’ll dive into some security measures you can incorporate into your daily life. A better cybersecurity decreases the risk of being a target of a cyberattack.
Security measures to consider
There are several security measures you can consider implementing to your IoT security. Below we’ll highlight:
- Authentication and access control
- Regular auditing
- Secure configurations
- Threat detection
- Firmware updates
Authentication and access control
One of the first security measures to consider when working with IoT security is authentication and access control. They are critical aspects of IoT Security. IoT devices must be authenticated to ensure that they are legitimate and authorized to access the network.
Access control mechanisms should also be in place to ensure that only authorized users can access and control IoT devices. Strong authentication methods such as two-factor authentication and biometric authentication should be used to ensure that only authorized users can access IoT devices.
Encryption is the process of encoding data to make it unreadable to unauthorized users. IoT devices often transmit sensitive data, such as personal information and financial data, which must be encrypted both when it moves between devices but also at rest.
Encryption should be used to protect sensitive data, such as financial information, personal data, and trade secrets. By encrypting your information you ensure that hackers cannot read and see your information - this is one of the most important things you want to have in cybersecurity, because hackers usually target sensitive data for financial gain.
Regular auditing of IoT devices is crucial to maintaining IoT Security. Audits should be conducted to identify vulnerabilities, detect unauthorized access attempts, and ensure that security policies are being followed.
Regular auditing also helps businesses stay compliant with industry regulations. If a company doesn’t comply with industry standards and regulations, they can face enormous fines and damage their reputation. Not many customers would choose a company that is not compliant with industry standards.
IoT systems should be configured securely to reduce the risk of attacks. Security configurations include setting up firewalls, applying software updates, and disabling default accounts or passwords that are prone to attacks.
When you e.g. update your devices when an update is available, you patch holes in the systems that hackers can exploit. It is thus always recommended to update your systems and devices as soon as an update is available.
Threat detection is essential to detect and respond to potential security breaches in IoT. Threat detection technologies such as Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems should be implemented to monitor and alert you of suspicious activities and events in your IoT environment.
Just as with software updates, firmware updates are necessary to fix vulnerabilities and bugs in IoT devices. IoT devices should be updated regularly to ensure that they have the latest security patches and updates. Regular updates also help ensure that IoT devices are functioning correctly and are not prone to attacks. Furthermore, new updates often bring new features, which will make the user experience even better.
When you implement security measures
While implementing IoT security measures, it is important to recognize that there are tradeoffs involved in balancing different factors. For example, implementing too many security controls can increase complexity and reduce efficiency, while too few controls can increase the risk of security breaches.
It is also important to consider the impact on usability and user experience when making decisions about IoT security. The IoT environment is made to make our user experience better because the devices work together.
In conclusion, IoT security is a critical aspect of modern business operations. IoT devices must be authenticated and access-controlled, encrypted, audited, configured securely, and updated regularly.
By implementing these measures, businesses can ensure that their IoT systems are secure, compliant with industry regulations, and resilient to potential security breaches. Additionally, by balancing different factors, businesses can ensure that their IoT operations are efficient and user-friendly while still being secure. We’re only interested in strengthening your cybersecurity and one way to do so is to be aware of your IoT security.
Caroline is a copywriter here at Moxso beside her education. She is doing her Master's in English and specializes in translation and the psychology of language. Both fields deal with communication between people and how to create a common understanding - these elements are incorporated into the copywriting work she does here at Moxso.View all posts by Caroline Preisler