What is the Future of IoT Security?

  • July 6, 2023
  • By Cyberarch Admin

The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to revolutionise the technological landscape, with an estimated 30 billion IoT devices expected to be in use by 2030. The IoT market is projected to reach $34 billion USD by 2027, showcasing its tremendous growth potential. However, amidst this growth, there is a pressing concern that threatens the future of IoT – security issues.

Trends:

The concept of IoT has been evolving since the 1990s, continuously shaping technological advancements and transforming the world. From everyday household items to essential business tools, IoT devices with software, sensors, and connectivity have become integral to our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the adoption of IoT devices, with IoT expenditure projected to reach $1 trillion USD in 2023.

Challenges:

Despite the convenience and necessity of IoT, these devices face limitations in functionality and performance. The most significant concern is the multitude of security flaws within the system. Recent reports highlight a significant increase in cyberattacks targeting IoT devices:

  • A 41% increase in the average number of weekly attacks on IoT devices in the first two months of 2023.
  • 54% of organizations experience attacks on IoT devices every week.
  • European organizations are the most targeted, followed by APAC and Latin-America-based businesses.

Security Problems with IoT:

Several security challenges plague the IoT landscape:

  • Ransomware: IoT devices with weak or no cybersecurity measures are targeted by ransomware and malware. Hackers block access to critical files and demand hefty ransoms, posing significant risks to businesses.

  • Testing and Updates: The rapid growth of the IoT market has led to manufacturers rushing product development, neglecting stringent testing processes and frequent updates. This leaves IoT devices vulnerable to malware attacks and other cybersecurity breaches.

  • Financial Crimes: Financial companies offering IoT-enabled electronic payment capabilities face the increased risk of financial crimes and identity fraud. Strengthening risk management and compliance initiatives is crucial in mitigating these threats.

  • Counterfeit Devices: The rising popularity of IoT devices has led to a surge in counterfeit devices. Users unknowingly download and use these devices, compromising their sensitive information.

  • Awareness: While users are becoming more aware of internet scams, IoT security issues are relatively new to them. There is a need for increased awareness and education to prevent IoT security attacks.

How IoT Attacks Happen:

IoT systems and applications have various attack surfaces, including the physical interface, firmware, web interface, network services, and memory components. Cybercriminals exploit mismanaged default settings, insecure device update processes, and vulnerabilities in protocols and web applications.

Top IoT Security Breaches: Some notable IoT security breaches include:

  • Stuxnet: An attack on an Iranian uranium enrichment plant that compromised industrial machines through compromised software.
  • Mirai Botnet: Utilized to carry out a massive DDoS attack against prominent internet performance management service providers.
  • Verkada: Hackers gained access to a cloud-based video surveillance service, compromising live feeds from thousands of cameras.
  • Jeep Hack: Researchers took control of a Jeep SUV by exploiting a firmware update vulnerability.

Solutions:

To address IoT security challenges, several solutions can be implemented:

  • Passwords: Avoid using default, easily guessable passwords for IoT devices. Change default passwords promptly to enhance security.

  • Updates: Ensure rigorous scanning of third-party software and hardware components. Verify the authenticity and integrity of update sources and use encrypted channels for secure updates. Employ standard security certificates for all IoT devices in the business environment.

  • Upskilling: Invest in upskilling employees with the latest IoT security knowledge. Build a team of security experts and trainers to educate the organization and foster a security-oriented culture.

  • Security Tools: Utilize IoT cybersecurity tools such as M2MLabs Mainspring, Flutter, Eclipse IoT Project, Kinoma, and Node-RED to enhance security measures.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) for IoT Security: Leverage AI technologies to bolster data security, improve visibility and analysis, and establish better access control mechanisms. AI can play a vital role in large organizations by effectively addressing IoT security challenges.

In conclusion, while the future of IoT appears promising, the growing number of IoT devices also brings significant security challenges. By addressing these challenges through password management, regular updates, upskilling, security tools, and AI integration, we can mitigate the risks and ensure a secure IoT ecosystem. This will enable us to embrace the potential of IoT while safeguarding against potential threats and breaches.

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