Adopting IoT technology can lead to improved performance, efficiency and valuable operational insights. However, it also introduces new security challenges.
With the rapid growth of the IoT industry, there is an increasing number of cyber threats and vulnerabilities that can be exploited maliciously. This is particularly true in the IoT sector, where the interconnectivity between IoT devices and networks creates a wide attack surface. A breach in one device or network segment can have a significant impact on the entire IoT network infrastructure.
The top 10 IoT security risks
- Lack of standardisation for IoT security: The absence of a uniform security standard in the IoT industry makes it challenging for developers and manufacturers to implement consistent security measures.
- Challenging device management: IT administrators face difficulties in monitoring and updating IoT devices that remain in the field for extended periods, which can introduce new vulnerabilities.
- Inadequate data privacy: IoT devices often collect and transmit extensive user data. Insufficient privacy safeguards and mishandling this data can result in privacy breaches, exposing individual’s personal information.
- Weak authentication and authorisation: Many IoT devices have default or weak credentials that are rarely changed, making them vulnerable to unauthorised access.
- Vulnerable hardware: Most IoT devices are designed for low power consumption and have limited computational capacity. As a result, they often lack fundamental security features such as encryption and access control provisions.
- Easy physical access to devices: Attackers can physically access IoT devices to steal data, insert malware, or exploit their ports and internal circuits, leading to a breach of the organization's network.
- Use of insecure software components in IoT solutions: Manufacturers sometimes have to use older or unsafe components due to cost constraints, existing legacy systems, or a lack of updated services. These components may have known vulnerabilities and may not receive safety update patches from their creators.
- Insufficient Network segmentation: IoT devices often share networks with other devices or are exposed to unnecessary network services, such as open ports, which can allow an attack on one device to affect others.
- Misconfiguration and compatibility issues: Compatibility and interoperability issues between IoT devices and telecom networks can create various threats, ranging from compromised data to the insertion of malware into the IoT supply chain.
- IoT ransomware and botnet attacks: The large attack surface of the IoT makes it attractive for attackers to leverage botnets for reconnaissance, system disruption, or data exfiltration. Successful exfiltration can lead to ransom demands for data or system access.
To minimise these IoT security risks, organizations can take several steps:
- Certify IoT devices with standards such as ISO 27001 to ensure alignment with crucial security policies and regulatory compliance.
- Regular software updates to maintain devices with the latest security features and effectively counter new threats.
- Utilise data encryption across different communication channels to protect IoT devices from vulnerabilities.
- Harden networks and use VPNs to limit entry points for attackers who may gain access through compromised IoT devices.
- Monitor the lifecycle of devices closely and promptly replace them if they become insecure or outdated.
- Enhance physical security by housing devices in tamper-resistant enclosures and removing manufacturer-provided device details that could be useful to attackers.
- Increase visibility into deployed endpoints and the data residing on IoT devices to proactively identify security risks and threats.
Learn more about Private APN and Velos IoT integration models
Velos IoT offers robust global IoT connectivity, spanning 600 networks across more than 200 countries and territories serving over 17 million cellular devices worldwide. Our network is managed through a top-tier connectivity management platform, with private Access Point Name (APN) gateway and numerous IoT integration models to suit your IoT solution needs.
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