According to Cisco predictions, there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. That clearly indicates that IoT will be everywhere. These small devices might not pose a big challenge as it can easily be hidden out of sight but the sheer volume of data it sends and receives makes them vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Security and privacy has always been a pain in the neck for IoT and has hampered its wider adoption too. With a lack of security protocols, these small connected devices might pose a security risk to organizations. The sensitivity of data and poor security controls can result in dire consequences for businesses.

In this article, you will learn about seven biggest IoT threats that your business should know about.

 

  • Unforeseen Threats

 

In most cases, IoT devices are used for smaller, less complex tasks such as measuring temperature and recording movements. Even though, the operating system and micro controllers powering these devices are more capable but they never disturb the system and runs quietly in the background. Unfortunately, this makes it more prone to cyber security attacks from hackers and poses a security threat to businesses who are implementing these devices.

The easiest way to overcome this issue is to involve your IT and security team into the procurement process. Let’s say you want to buy HostNoc best cheap dedicated servers, would you involve your IT team? Yes. In fact, they might be leading such purchases and making all the purchase decisions. If they are at the heart of all IT related procurement then they should also be involved in IoT procurement process. This will help you purchase the most secure IoT devices and minimize the risk.

 

  • Neglected Devices

 

IoT devices are small and you can easily hide them. Yes, this might seem like an advantage as you can cram more devices in a small space but it can also prove to be a big downside. The easier it is to hide a device out of sight, the easier it is for you to forget about the device. As these devices require little to no maintenance and consume less power, you don’t need to charge it frequently. Some of these devices can be placed on walls and ceilings making it tough to keep it maintained. There is a bright chance that you might have forgotten about some of your IoT devices which gives cyber criminals an easy target and possibly an opening to intrude into your network You can easily overcome this by running a device replacement cycle every year..

 

  • Insider Risk

 

Most organization is busy in protecting their digital assets from external threats. Unfortunately, they tend to ignore the internal risk and end up paying a hefty price for it. There are instances when your own employees are responsible for an attack on cyber security network. It could be intentional or unintentional. Your employee might fall victim to a phishing scam or intentionally attempts to subvert your IoT Devices.

Manage and control access to your IoT devices to prevent any such issues. Educate your employees about social engineering attacks as it can easily be prevented by increasing employee awareness. Social engineering attacks are the most common used method from cyber attackers to get access to your organization’s data. Make sure that your employees are aware of who is responsible for interacting with IoT devices so that they don’t entertain any request of resetting the device from any other source.

 

  • Malware Attacks

 

Many businesses tend to forget about IoT devices after implementing it. This means that they are not protected, updated or patched. As a result, they become the soft target for attackers. Hackers infect these unattended IoT devices with malware. They do not stop there and starts to block network ports. Create a IoT strategy that lays down the principles of how to identify, mitigate and transfer risk if the disaster strike so you don’t have to stay in a state of shock when your IoT devices get infected. Follow a proactive approach and develop a response mechanism to handle such attacks in an efficient manner.

 

  • Bringing Critical Systems To Halt

 

If you have been following cyber security news and trends lately, you might notice a paradigm shift in cyber attacks. Instead of targeting large scale enterprises, the focus of attackers has shifted to critical infrastructure such as hospitals, national grid, power plants and nuclear power plants etc. Cyber criminals are targeting embedded systems with deadly ransomware and asking for payment to prevent shut down of critical systems.

According to a whitepaper published by NIST, “An attacker who can view the IoT device’s stored or transmitted data might not gain any advantage or value from it, but an attacker who can alter the data might trigger a series of events that cause an incident.” This clearly indicates that cyber attackers will not only try to get access to data but will try to alter it to bring critical systems down to its knees.

 

  • Ignoring Security During Manufacturing

 

Manufacturer design IoT devices with convenience in mind. Unfortunately, that convenience does not fare well in terms of device security. It is important to change your super user credentials from time to time. Blocking traffic from network ports that are mostly used in IoT attacks as well as disabling or blocking plug and play capabilities can go a long way in protecting your IoT devices.

Manufacturers should not only embed security features but also make it easier for users to use them. Unfortunately, most manufacturers add insult to injury by disabling these security features. As a result, their devices can easily be compromised. At the end of the day, it is the business who implement those devices suffer, not the manufacturer.

 

  • Not Striking a Balance Between Security and User Expectation

 

One of the biggest challenges for businesses is to maintain a healthy balance between operational requirements and security requirements. Ironically, operational requirements tend to collides with best cyber security practices. The easiest way to get over this problem is to keep backup devices, educate your employees on how they can meet their expectation without compromising on security best practices.

Which is the biggest IoT threat in your opinion? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.

Author's Bio: 

Anwer’s unique blend of passion & expertise makes him one of the most highly pursued Digital Marketing evangelists across the globe. Currently deployed at HostNoc -Complete Servers Solution Providers