Is IoT Posing a Threat To Cyber Security?
IoT is, perhaps, the future of technology. But as with any new tech, its reach might be exceeding its grasp, for now. See how IoT is vulnerable and how you can help secure it.
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As the Internet of Things continues to grow and impact individuals, business entities, and government, one is forced to consider the future and how it affects the world generally.
Projections have been made about having 6.4 billion things connected by the end of 2016, and that the total enhanced services will be spending $235 billion the same year.
Naturally, one should not be bewildered about these staggering figures. It is a good development that will catch up with almost everybody in the nearest future. But on a second thought, we must not forget the threats it could pose to cyber security.
Relationship Between IoT and Cyber Security
IoT typically ensures the interconnectivity of computers, smartphones, and other smart gadgets. Communication is established between just about anything: cars and road traffic system, solar panels and home automation, just name it.
With this amount of interconnectivity existing in the cyberspace, a certain level of vulnerability is expected. A single security breach could give hackers access to massive information.
For example, several millions of email usernames and passwords were hacked and traded online early this year. This development emerged as the biggest stacks of stolen information to be exposed since cyber-attacks rocked major U.S. banks and retailers in 2014.
This was what led HP to conduct a study on the vulnerability of IoT devices in 2014. And they found that over half of IoT devices were actually vulnerable. The major causes of such vulnerabilities bothered around privacy concerns, inadequate authorization, insecure web interface, insufficient software protection, and lack of encryption.
How to Reduce Cyber Attacks
Cyber attacks are ugly incidences that could ruin your online reputation and create a serious setback for your business. The only way to reduce your vulnerability to cyber-attacks is through data protection. Here are few things you should do.
Use a VPN
To a layman, VPNs are used to hide peoples’ identities. However, it’s the best way to protect yourself if you feel your privacy is being violated by big companies or even your government.
If you download large numbers of torrents, or you suddenly find yourself in a country with some restrictions, using a VPN for torrent could let you in easily via a secured network. VPN typically provides security encryptions giving you the privilege of enjoying your downloaded content and also protecting your identity.
Improve App Security
If you use home security apps on your android devices, for example, you could be faced with security vulnerabilities that’d reduce the performance of your device and cause data loss. Infiltrators could then take advantage of this loophole and have access to your home automation system, causing serious security issues for you.
To reduce your susceptibility to a security breach, do ensure to download your apps from authorized sources only, buy premium apps which provide tangible protection, and always upgrade your app to the latest versions whenever an upgrade is available.
Prevent Data Theft
Data theft could manifest in many ways. It could result from browsing in a public network, falling for cheap scams, or being careless with vital information on your PC.
Some effective ways of preventing data theft include using alphanumeric passwords, shredding confidential documents before recycling, encrypting data, preventing malware attacks, using an ip address changer, upgrading your operating system, and using a cloud data protection service.
IoT is a great concept and is, in fact, the future of technology. But like every other big idea, it has its own downsides. The biggest threat is security vulnerability of connected systems, but this can be effectively checked with much vigilance and security awareness.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.