Tips to Secure IoT and Connected Systems
The “Internet of things” (IoT) term was coined by Kevin Ashton, the executive director of the Auto-ID Center in 1999. IoT refers to the billions of physical devices around the world connected to the internet, all collecting and sharing information. Thanks to the beginning of super-cheap computer chips & the ubiquity of wireless networks, it's possible to modify anything, from something as minor as a pill to something as gigantic as an airplane, into a part of the IoT.
The "Internet of things" is a vital subject of discussion of technical and economic impact that how we people are conscious about our lives and how IoT can impact our lives. If we talk about autonomous car example in which car drivers are not present inside the car, it is sensible enough to take you to the required destination on its own. Equipped with devices like sensors, internet and more, these cars can sense current traffic conditions, identify situations of the road like speed breakers, pedestrians, corners, and sharp edges and comprehend them for rapid speeds.
How are IoT devices connected?
How these devices are connected at the back-end with one another is a complicated topic itself. According to IBM, there are standard protocols for different devices operating over different systems and networks to communicate with each other. One standard model needs to go through seven layers of protocols every time the device interconnects with another using the internet.
What can happen if IoT devices are not secured?
Have you ever thought about the brutal consequences which can be resulted due to cyber-attacks? Not to scare you, but these IoT abusers could go beyond your expectations. It is better to be prepared before for the worst. What if these hackers penetrate your car’s system? Or your security system at home or workplace? And what if this all happens when you are in a hurry, or there is an emergency? What if a well secured stock exchange system crashes? Can you think about all the losses as a result of IoT devices not secured earlier?
Reportedly, in the early 2020s, 25 to 30 billion IoT devices are supposed to be connected worldwide, and 25% of cyber-attacks will be targeting those IoT devices. Currently, 48% of U.S. companies with IoT devices on their network have been breached. According to Winston, manufacturers must take IoT device security seriously. They need to understand security preferences and address it for better outcomes.
Ways to Secure Connected IoT Systems:
The instructions are jotted down below:
- You should be conscientious with your passwords and make sure that each device contains a unique password. We all know how much password is essential to be changed for PCs, Mobile devices, and personal accounts. Try to remember your password, and it should be complicated enough for other users to guess it.
- Extra or multiple networks can act as a buffer. It ensures your shared confidential files are not shared with any outside entity. Creation of extra networks can help you to make restricted access for your family and your guests.
- First of all, explore your smart device and its features. Achieve your requirements without connecting the device to the internet if the requirements can easily be fulfilled offline, leaving you in a more secure zone.
- Automatic updates or firmware updates will help in installing new security patches on your devices. Make sure that devices are updated to reinforce security in your devices and strengthen them against intruder attacks.
- Universal plug & play feature should be turned off on every device as it is comprised of local networks for connection. It is vulnerable to outside entities as they might be able to gain contact with multiple devices simultaneously.
- Before you start using the cloud which uses the internet, ensure that you are familiar with the ways to secure your data, and thoroughly understand the privacy measures. For cloud, you need an active connection if you want to access the information that you store in the cloud; and that information cannot be accessed without a connection. Due to this, an outsider might be able to enter into your connection as you are accessing your account.
Forecast about IoT devices:
The IoT market is building at a fast pace globally, illustrating the growth rate to be $457B by 2020. The impact of IoT on the Internet and the economy are extraordinary, with the expectation of 100 billion connected IoT devices, and its global economic impact is $11 trillion by 2025. With this upsurge, IoT devices protection is necessary against vicious attacks and is a case of concern for losing personal information or data.
What if a security breach took place?
Perform the following steps to minimize the loss of sensitive data:
- Immediately report all the parties who can be affected by the security breach
- Change passwords immediately and activate the two-factor authentication
- Understand what went wrong and which of your security measures were vulnerable. Try to fix the issues soon
- User must regain control of the whole system and access to critical data faster
Courses and Trainings:
The best thing that we can do is to educate ourselves about what the IoT is and its potential impacts. Let’s see which courses and training can help us to secure these IoT devices.
- CISA online training course (Source)
- CISSP certification (Source)
- CEH certification online course (Source)
As we know, IoT devices present lots of exciting opportunities and innovative ideas for the upcoming future. According to Samsung, there are over 7 billion devices that lack the security for IoT environment anticipated for 2020. Device insecurity is a real threat to network security. The shortcomings of this influential technology related to security and privacy risks can be overcome by training, guidelines, and courses mentioned above in the article if followed by the present age group.