Internet of Things

3 Big Challenges with the Internet of Things (IoT)

| July 28, 2022

Introduction

IoT devices are continually popular within both the workplace and the home. Developments in technology behind things like speakers, TV’s, doorbells, appliances and even cars are moving to a much more automated and connected world. While these advancements are making strides for accessibility and convenience of consumers, it is important to also consider the security challenges such devices can present. 

These smart devices fall under the category of the Internet of Things, or IoT. IoT devices are equipped with many capabilities. They “find each other, communicate, and complete transactions, security and entity relationship management which includes identity, access.” How we address the increasingly popular use of these devices and address their unique challenges will play an important role in ensuring IoT security. Below are some concerns to consider when working with a network where IoT devices are connected.

Security Challenges With IoT

1. Lack of Encryption of IoT Devices

2. Brute Force attacks are frequently focused against IoT

3. IoT demand leads to short testing periods and less frequent updates

Lack of Encryption with IoT

Encryption is a main approach that many IT security teams take when attempting to work against the threat of hackers. Encryption of data can help ensure that even if an attacker gains access to a resource or data set, the information is unreadable. The data collected and stored by many IoT devices is not encrypted in transfer or at rest putting it at much higher risk of being accessed and fully usable by malicious actors should they gain access to that device. This lack of data encryption poses a major security challenge for IoT, and you should be aware of it at all times.

Short testing Periods & Infrequent Updates

There is an increasing push for the development and production of smart devices across many fields and countless use-cases. As such, many of these IoT devices are constantly coming out with new models and variations. With this consistent push to always produce a newer, better version of an IoT device, it is important to consider the amount of time the newest version spent going through testing for bugs and vulnerabilities. Too often, with the pressure of creating products quickly, the pre-production testing stages can be lacking. This leaves IoT security issues unaddressed that can be used as an entry point to the device itself, and ultimately the network it is connected to.

Brute force attacks and protecting IoT identities

 IoT devices come with their own identity and login information. Instead of treating them like another endpoint, security teams have been approaching them as separate identities themselves. IoT login information often includes the assignment of default credentials for the device. Oftentimes, agencies or individuals do not take the time to go and change these default passwords, leaving these devices vulnerable to brute force attacks. If these attacks are successful, the IoT device can be used as an entry point to an organization’s network.

Closing

IoT devices are not going anywhere. In fact, they are becoming increasingly popular. IoT devices are being seen more and more often in personal households, as well as most industries. Due to the unique capabilities of these devices, we as security professionals also need to consider and plan for the inherent IoT security challenges that they present to a network. 

This blog only touches on 3 of the major IoT security challenges these new non-human identities can present. However, many of the risks associated with IoT can be mitigated with simple measures like taking the time to go in and reset the password to a non-default password. 

If you are concerned about the IoT security challenges that these devices present to your network, and you’re not sure how to secure your IoT devices on your network, please reach out to us and we can discuss how we can help you with securing your devices using cybersecurity best practices.

Resources:

Challenges in Internet of things (IoT) – GeeksforGeeks

Identity of Things Challenges in IoT Identity Management – Identity Management Institute®

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