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What are IOT Devices and The IOT Security Implications?

The internet of things (IoT) has evolved so rapidly that the development of IOT security has had to catch up. I am a huge Home Automation fan, and IOT is such a huge trend now a days that we need to understand what the implications of these devices permeating society will cause. This article is meant to address the basics of IoT security in order to prevent them and be secure.

What exactly are Internet of Things (IoT) devices?

Starting with what is meant by “things: in IoT, because the diversity of IoT devices broadens the scope of the IoT and makes security difficult. An IoT device’s major feature is its ability to connect to the internet and interact with its surroundings through data gathering and exchange. Devices with low computer capabilities and only a few specified purposes are common. Because devices are so diverse, there are infinite possibilities for IoT to be used and used in various situations.

Smart houses demonstrate how easily IoT devices may be accessed by everyday users. By purchasing such gadgets, users can upgrade their home’s security system (through smart locks, IP cameras, and motion sensors) or improve their entertainment system (via a smart TV, smart speakers, and linked gaming consoles). IoT devices are often portable and can connect to any network. One common example is how people transport their devices from their residences to the office (e.g. smart watches and e-readers).

While diversity provides customers with a plethora of devices to select from, it is also one of the causes of IoT fragmentation and many of its security risks. Due to a lack of industry foresight and standards, compatibility concerns have arisen, further complicating the security issue. Because of the portability of devices, there is a greater risk of threats contaminating more than one network. Other aspects that must be addressed in IoT security contribute to these problems.

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Security concerns with the IoT

While IoT devices play a significant role in the topic of IoT security, focusing solely on the security aspect of the IoT isn’t the way to explain the reason behind why security is required and what it comprises. There are numerous variables that contribute to the importance of IoT security today.

Threats and dangers

IoT security is crucial, owing to the increased attack surface of dangers that have already plagued networks. Insecure practices among users and businesses that may lack the resources or knowledge to appropriately protect their IoT ecosystems add to these concerns.

Among these security concerns are the following:

  • Vulnerabilities are a major issue that users and organizations face on a daily basis. One of the primary reasons IoT devices are insecure is a lack of computing capacity for built-in security. Another factor for the pervasiveness of vulnerabilities is the limited budget for designing and testing safe firmware, which is driven by the price point of devices and their very short development cycle. As illustrated by Ripple20 and URGENT/11, vulnerable standard components harm millions of devices. Aside from the devices themselves, minor faults or loopholes in web applications and other related software for IoT devices can get exploited by the hackers. Malware operators are on the lookout for such possibilities and are well-versed in earlier flaws.
  • Despite the fact that most IoT devices have low processing power, they can nevertheless be compromised by malware. This is a tactic that cybercriminals have utilized to great effect in recent years. IoT botnet malware is one of the most common kinds since it is both versatile and profitable for cybercriminals. The most prominent attack occurred in 2016, when Mirai used an army of ordinary IoT devices to take down key websites and services. Cryptocurrency mining malware and ransomware are examples of other malware families.
  • Cyberattacks have become more sophisticated. Infected devices are frequently used in denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Already hacked devices have often been used for to infect other systems or have been exploited for getting entry into a corporate network. While companies may appear to be the more lucrative targets, smart homes are also subject to a surprising amount of unplanned cyberattacks.
  • Theft of information and uncertain exposure Connected devices, like anything else dealing with the internet, enhance the likelihood of exposure online. These gadgets can mistakenly store and target sensitive technical and even personal information.
  • Unmanaged and unconfigured devices with weak passwords, security flaws can be a great contributor in the device getting hacked. Users may also lack the knowledge and capability to adopt suitable security measures, in which case service providers and manufacturers must assist their clients in achieving better protection.

Some other emerging issues:

  • Due to a lack of industrial foresight, there was limited time to build tactics and defenses against known vulnerabilities in developing IoT ecosystems. One of the reasons why IoT security research must be done on a regular basis is to anticipate developing issues. Here are a few of the new concerns to keep an eye on:
  • Environments that are complex. By 2020, most U.S. households would have an average of ten connected gadgets. In this study, complex IoT environments were characterized as a linked network of at least ten IoT devices. Because of its intricate network of interconnected operations, such an ecosystem is nearly impossible to monitor and govern. In such a setting, an unnoticed misconfiguration can have disastrous implications and potentially jeopardize physical household security.
  • Remote employment agreements are common. Many aspirations for 2020 and 2021 have been shattered by the Covid-19 pandemic. It resulted in large-scale work-from-home (WFH) arrangements for organizations all over the world, as well as a greater reliance on home networks. IoT gadgets were also handy in many users’ WFH installations. These changes have emphasized the importance of rethinking IoT security approaches.
  • 5G connectivity is now available. The shift to 5G is fraught with anticipation and expectation. It is a development that will allow other technologies to evolve as well. At the moment, much of the 5G research is focused on how it will affect businesses and how it can be implemented securely.

Aside from the dangers themselves, the ramifications of these threats in the context of IoT can be far more damaging to cope with. The Internet of Things has the unique capacity to affect both virtual and physical systems. Cyberattacks on IoT ecosystems may have significantly more unforeseen implications since they are more easily translated into physical consequences. This is especially evident in the sphere of industrial internet of things (IIoT), where previous assaults have already revealed cascading effects. IoT devices are already being used in the healthcare industry to remotely monitor patients’ vital signs, which has proven incredibly useful during the epidemic. Attacks on such devices have the potential to reveal critical patient information or potentially harm their health and safety. Exposed devices in the smart home could allow cybercriminals to watch the household, compromise security equipment such as smart locks, and turn devices against their owners.

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