5 Major Security Threats Facing IoT

The number of devices connected to theInternet of Things (IoT) is growing at a staggering rate and continues to do sodaily. It is estimated that by 2025, morethan 75 million devices will be connected worldwide, representing afivefold increase since 2015. With this kind of rapid growth, companies arefinding 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 worldaround us is convenient but comes at a cost. Data is constantly being shared,transmitted, stored, and processed by large companies. User data is collectedby one source and can be shared with, or even sold to, another source withoutthe user’s knowledge. This creates a security vulnerability because the greatermovement of data increases the likelihood of a breach or leak of sensitive information.

The rapid adoption of IoT has led tomore conversation around device regulation and cybersecurity. Formal governmentregulation may be down the road. In the meantime, businesses have recognizedthe benefitsof working with a technology managed services provider to alleviate privacyand cybersecurity concerns the IoT brings.

Malware and Ransomware

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

IoT endpoints operate differently thanthose of computers and hackers are constantly exploring new ways to exploitendpoint weaknesses. Malware and ransomware attacks will likely keep pace withthe adoption of IoT and new, more elaborate viruses will emerge. Services like weband email filtering are effective ways to combat the threat ofcyberattacks.

Inadequate Testing and Updating

Manufacturers are eager to get theirproducts to the market and devices are made available to the public before theyhave undergone the appropriate testing. Additionally, updates to IoT devicesare not regularly pushed out or made available. The older the device, the moreprone it is to cyberattacks and hackers.

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

Default Passwords and “Brute-Forcing”

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

To combat a brute-force attack, managedservices providers recommend implementing strong,complex passwords and multi-factorauthentication.

Keeping Communication Private

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

Working with a technology solutionspartner like AJTC is an effective step in staying ahead of securitythreats. 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 beable to reap the great benefits of IoT. ContactAJTC here or call 708.942.8200 today to learn more about our IT securityand other solutions.

Other blog posts