5 Major Security Threats Facing IoT

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The number of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing at a staggering rate and continues to do so daily. It is estimated that by 2025, more than 75 million devices will be connected worldwide, representing a fivefold increase since 2015. With this kind of rapid growth, companies are finding themselves behind the eight ball when it comes to securing IoT devices. Here is a brief look at 5 major security threats facing today’s IoT devices.

Data Privacy Issues

Our constant connection to the world around us is convenient but comes at a cost. Data is constantly being shared, transmitted, stored, and processed by large companies. User data is collected by one source and can be shared with, or even sold to, another source without the user’s knowledge. This creates a security vulnerability because the greater movement of data increases the likelihood of a breach or leak of sensitive information.

The rapid adoption of IoT has led to more conversation around device regulation and cybersecurity. Formal government regulation may be down the road. In the meantime, businesses have recognized the benefits of working with a technology managed services provider to alleviate privacy and cybersecurity concerns the IoT brings.

Malware and Ransomware

As the number of connected devices increases, so too does the number of malicious software targeting users’ data. Malware and ransomware attacks are shifting and adapting with the ways of IoT and hackers are becoming savvier in developing IoT-targeted attacks.

IoT endpoints operate differently than those of computers and hackers are constantly exploring new ways to exploit endpoint weaknesses. Malware and ransomware attacks will likely keep pace with the adoption of IoT and new, more elaborate viruses will emerge. Services like web and email filtering are effective ways to combat the threat of cyberattacks.

Inadequate Testing and Updating

Manufacturers are eager to get their products to the market and devices are made available to the public before they have undergone the appropriate testing. Additionally, updates to IoT devices are not regularly pushed out or made available. The older the device, the more prone it is to cyberattacks and hackers.

An IoT device should not be rushed to launch without being properly tested or a thorough updates plan to support it.

Default Passwords and “Brute-Forcing”

When an IoT device is sent to the consumer from the manufacturer, they may include “default” credentials. Default usernames and passwords make devices susceptible to hacking and what is known as a brute-force attack. A brute-force attack is a process by which a cybercriminal uses trial and error methods to try to decode username and password information.

To combat a brute-force attack, managed services providers recommend implementing strong, complex passwords and multi-factor authentication.

Keeping Communication Private

IoT devices leave their users exposed to harmful or damaging attacks when confidential information is not secured. Sensitive data that is transferred through an IoT device should be encrypted to protect it. If data is transmitted or shared through non-secure channels, it is at an increased risk of being intercepted or exploited.

Working with a technology solutions partner like AJTC is an effective step in staying ahead of security threats. IoT will only continue to grow, evolve, and increase in complexity. The more users are educated about the risks and threats, the more they will be able to reap the great benefits of IoT. Contact AJTC here or call 708.942.8200 today to learn more about our IT security and other solutions.

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