10 IoT Security Concerns for App Dev

Here are 10 general tips to keep in mind when building an IoT application, with considerations for both software and your connected devices.

· IoT Zone · Opinion

The IoT boom has brought us security concerns previously unthought of. With 24 billion devices to go online in the public domain alone in 2020, this isn’t turning out quite the way news industry pundits thought.

Web APIs, or more specifically REST APIs, are the keys to connecting these devices to the Internet. IoT devices are driven by handheld devices and modern websites. This lightweight, developer-friendly REST APIs are the need of the hour.


Source: Statista.com

Organizations looking to develop an app to gain access to, control of, or command over an IoT device must not ignore the following security threats that revolve around IoT app development.


There are any number of connected devices that collect personal information: name, DOB, address, credit card information, etc. Some of the devices transmit that info across the network without any kind of encryption procedure, which may be easy for an interceptor to trace and read. Cloud computing services utilized by a number of devices are also vulnerable.

Hardware Issues

As there has been a great hike in mobility solutions and cloud computing with IoT, chip makers are strengthening their processors for extra security with each new generation. The latest architecture of chips has been prepared specifically for IoT devices. Also, multifaceted designs will need more battery power, which is absolutely a challenge for IoT apps.

Data Encryption

Plenty of devices make use of unencrypted network services. Some devices fail to even encrypt data even though they are connected to the Internet. They should perform transport encryption, where information transfers between two devices will be encrypted. This aspect, in particular, will be very significant in overcoming security concerns.

Web Interface

Constant cross-site scripting, simple default passwords, and weak session management are the concerns when it comes to a user web interface. These are the points for hackers to easily identify accounts of users and misuse them for their benefit. These are a source of vulnerabilities, so make sure you take every precaution to secure your interfaces.

Less Network Awareness

Many organizations are not completely aware of what is on their network and, therefore, cannot evaluate if they have any IoT devices that are configured incorrectly. It is quite difficult to maintain a view like a dashboard of every single device on the network, so make considerations for network visibility early in the development process.

Unsecured Software

Unfortunately, many people still don't set passwords that are sufficient in complexity and length. So, their devices are dependent on quite simple passwords. That is a great resource for bad actors. So, enforce strong password policies where you can. Authentication may not be easy, but failure to do so leaves an attack vector.

Side Channel Attacks

Side channel attacks focus less on information and more on how that information is being showcased. If someone can access data, such as power consumption or even sound, then they have potential entry points into your system.

Rogue IoT Devices

The rising incidence of rogue connected devices hidden within enterprise makes the network smaller day by day. A Raspberry Pi or a Wi-Fi Pineapple are the best examples of rogue IoT devices. An attacker can use one of these devices and connect other devices to that rogue device. Those other devices are often found in financial institutions.

Corporate Protection

A corporation’s interconnected devices could use a rogue device to collect personal data when it comes to, for example, money transfers. So consumers have to go through every single agreement before signing when receiving any device. Also, take a look at a device’s corporation’s policies regarding data safety.

How to Improve IoT Security Now

  • Day one emphasis on security
  • Get important updates regularly throughout the software's lifecycle
  • Implementation of secure access control as well as device authentication
  • Include built-in security features
  • Study threats and possible attackers before handling IoT security
  • Be ready for probable security breaches sooner or later

As an IoT application developer, one should always be careful of threats. Security breaches are likely to happen once or twice (or more), and you should be ready for them. You should always be prepared to secure data in case of any attack or vulnerabilities.

iot security, iot app development, encryption, iot

Published at DZone with permission of Shahid Mansuri, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.