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The Five Biggest Security Threats and Challenges for IoT

DZone 's Guide to

The Five Biggest Security Threats and Challenges for IoT

Check out the biggest challenges facing security and IoT devices.

· IoT Zone ·
Free Resource

In the coming decade, the biggest threat to us will not be wars between countries or states. The biggest threat that we should be most concerned about is the cyber war. It is a direct threat to our privacy, our private conversations, moments, pictures — everything that encompasses our life.

Technology has always been a double-edged sword. With all the benefits and advantages, follows unknown and unprecedented threats. For us to succeed and work in harmony with technology, we need to address and confront the potential threats that it brings. Simply ignoring or putting them aside is not a solution.

The Five Biggest Security Threats and Challenges for IoT

Anything that is connected to the Internet is open to threat. As the saying goes, "There are two types of companies — one that has been hacked and one that does not know it has been hacked." This rightly sheds some light on the fact that we are always vulnerable. It all depends upon who is the least vulnerable.

Until and unless we do not address and come face to face with the evils of the Internet, we would not be able to create countermeasures that protect us from these threats.

Any threat, be it on IoT or on a website, is backed by a purpose. In 100 percent of the cases, these threats or attacks are human generated. The purpose may vary depending upon the intruder’s target:

i) Since IoT devices are used and operated by humans, an intruder may want to gain unsolicited access to the human.

ii) By eavesdropping on the wireless IoT devices, the intruder may want to catch hold of confidential information.

iii) IoT devices run on low power and less computing resource capability. Due to this, they cannot afford to have complex security protocols. Hence, it becomes an easy target for intruders.

Vulnerability

The most basic and easy-to-pick threat to IoT devices is its vulnerability. Companies providing IoT solutions start with addressing this issue first before commemorating on the underlying software.

We also need to understand that a vulnerability can be of two types: hardware and software. A hardware vulnerability is often tough to detect or penetrate. However, it is even tougher to repair or overhaul the damage.

Software vulnerability points toward a poorly written algorithm or a line of code with a backdoor. This backdoor can easily provide access to intruders prying for such moments.

Easy Exposure

This is one of the most fundamental issues faced by the IoT industry. Any device, if unattended or exposed to troublemakers, is an open invitation to discomfort. In most of the cases, IoT devices are not resilient to third-party exposure — they either lay open or easily accessible to anyone.

This means that an intruder can either easily steal the device, connect the device to another device containing harmful data, or try to extract cryptographic secrets, modifying the programming or even replacing those devices with malicious ones in which the intruder has complete control.

Threats

Threats can be of two types: a human threat or a natural threat. Any threat arising from natural occurrences such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, or fires can cause severe damage to IoT devices. In such cases, we often take a backup or create contingency plans to safeguard the data. But any damage caused to the devices physically cannot be restored.

Today, IoT solutions have matured over time. Devices, today, have evolved to be waterproof. It is a long journey before IoT solution providers come up with something that is fireproof or earthquake proof.

On contrary, we do everything in power to curb any human threats to IoT devices. These threats are usually malicious attacks.

Human Attacks on These Devices Can Be Further Identified As:

  1. Cyber reconnaissance: where an intruder uses cracking techniques and malicious software to conduct espionage on the targeted user to either gain access to secret information or sabotage the existing systems.
  2. Brute force attacks on passwords — intruders make an attempt to guess the user’s passwords with the help of an automated software, which makes innumerable attempts until the right password grants the access.
  3. Stalking or tracking — user’s each and every move can be tracked or traced by the UID of the IoT device. Tracking a user gives away their precise location in time where they wish to remain anonymous.
  4. Controlled Attacks — using Denial of Services (DoS), Trojans, or viruses are some examples of controlled attacks. In such cases, intruders develop a particular virus that is programmed to function in a certain manner in order to destroy the host device. Programmers and developers have to be vigilant while working on current IoT solutions since hackers today have strong artillery to launch cyber attacks around the globe.

Conclusion

This does not conclude that we should be scared or afraid of anti-social elements. Awareness is your first line defense. As it is said, being paranoid sometimes saves your life. In this case, IoT solutions and services have proved its mettle and stood firm against the test of time, at least, until now.

Topics:
iot security ,iot solutions

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