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IoT security risks: What are they and how to manage

dianamaltseva8 profile image Diana Maltseva ・3 min read

The Internet of Things market is quickly growing covering almost all business industries and life spheres. The future is promising to be impressive: Internet-connected devices everywhere, smart electrical grids, smart homes, smart cars, and even smart cities.

Everything will be in real-time: traffic monitoring and energy consumption systems, data collection and analysis platforms, IoT healthcare ecosystems, and a lot more.

IoT involves devices helping small and middle-sized companies monitor and manage business processes. This way, IoT solutions provide them with the ability to reduce expenses, automate workflow, eliminate human participation from various operations, and boost company performance.

However, despite a number of IoT benefits and use cases, there comes a question about IoT security risks.

Unfortunately, now anything, from consumer electronics and networks to mobile apps and smart devices, can be hacked. Understanding possible vulnerabilities and establishing safeguards take the center stage.

At the moment, 92% of companies using IoT solutions are concerned about IoT security risks. In these conditions, protection has the highest priority.

Speaking about IoT security, there are three main factors that “unpack this notion: security, trust, and privacy.

  • Security – How well controlled are the IoT device(s) and infrastructure?
  • Privacy – What is used for data kept confidential and private?
  • Trust – How do you ensure and maintain users’ confidence?  

The main IoT security risks:

1. Data leaks

IoT devices collect data that can include camera images, credit card numbers, zip codes, locations, and a lot more. A leak of business information can lead a company to a complete failure, while personal data can harm people’s lives.

For example, by hacking IoT solutions for remote health monitoring, attackers can remotely increase or lower patients’ blood sugar levels. Or in the case of Nest thermostats, there was a leak in tnearby weather stations’ locations.

2. User verification

The reason of most IoT security vulnerabilities goes from misconfiguration and default passwords use.

IoT developers must provide customers with the ability, even a must, to create their own passwords. Then, they should establish a high level of password reliability (complexity), so that it’s difficult to hack.

3. Lack of regulations and a single approach

There are often no regulations for emerging IoT devices. However, building a standard-based approach to security plays an important role in what concerns hacker attacks and data protection.

To ensure a high-security level, IoT providers have to integrate standards that mandate regular updates, personal identity management, and user authorization. These measures will greatly help in reducing IoT security risks.

4. Unknown surveillance

Unknown surveillance is one of the most spread IoT security risks. Often unprotected IoT solutions can be accessed by any remote user, able to activate any device with a microphone or camera (video and voice recording).

It’s like sites, that search webcam IP addresses with unsecured open ports, stream millions of people’s private videos and images coming from stores, shopping centers, swimming pools, school classrooms, etc.

Learn more about IoT security risks and vulnerabilities and the ways to manage them.
 

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dianamaltseva8 profile

Diana Maltseva

@dianamaltseva8

Having been a professional tech blogger since 2015 and having proficiency in programming, I generally cover such topics as mobile & web development, dev technologies, AI, and IoT.

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