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Over the years, the number of devices connected to the Internet has increased exponentially. From a little over 15 billion devices in 2015, over 26.6 billion devices were connected in 2019.
It is estimated that the figure will exceed the 30 billion mark by the end of 2020 and over 75 billion devices are expected to be connected to the Internet by 2025.
IoT Security Challenges
The increasing popularity of this concept has raised a lot of security issues, especially privacy concerns that make IoT users susceptible to cyberattacks and identity theft. Major IoT providers also use default or hardcoded passwords that can create room for security breaches. This and many other loopholes can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain remote access to devices and wreak havoc on the devices or the users.
The increasing security threat to IoT underlines the importance of finding practical solutions that may address the issue and drastically reduce the rate at which IoT devices are attacked by criminals operating from the cyberspace.
The DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks that affected IoT services and devices around the world in 2016 is an eye-opener and a proof that the security threat against IoT is real.
What is IoT Security?
IoT Agenda defines IoT security as “the technology area concerned with safeguarding connected devices and networks in the Internet of Things (IoT).” Simply put, IoT security refers to the precautionary measures taken to beef up the security of IoT devices and reduce their susceptibility to attacks from unauthorized criminals.
Five proven solutions that you may implement to increase the security of your IoT devices are:
1. Use IoT Security Analytics
The vulnerabilities and security issues associated with IoT can be drastically reduced by implementing security analytics. This involves collecting, correlating, and analyzing data from multiple sources that can assist IoT security providers to identify potential threats and nip such threat in the bud.
This means that there is a need for multi-dimensional security analytics apart from monitoring IoT gateways alone. Malicious and suspicious anomalies can then be identified by correlating data from a wide range of domains. That allows security experts to correct such anomalies and prevent them from having a negative impact on the connected devices.
More so, a spike on the sensor’s CUP, if the devices are still performing its assigned task or other related security issues, can easily be detected. The combination of such valuable pieces of information and threat intelligence data can prove helpful in effectively detecting harmful threats and finding effective solutions to the threats.
2. Use Public Key Infrastructure
The Public Key Infrastructure is “a set of policies, software/hardware, and procedures, which is required for the creation, management, and distribution of the digital certificates.” This security process has proven over the years to be an effective solution to IoT security issues.
PKI ensures the encryption of data through both asymmetric and symmetric encryption processes. In the former, both the data encryption and decryption are done with the same key while different keys are used for the data encryption and decryption in the latter. The data encryption and decryption ensure that data privacy is maintained and the chances of data theft are reduced to the bare minimum.
Security measures involve using digital certificates for verifying the identity of all the devices connected together in an IoT. It also maintains the privacy of information to keep it away from the reach of potential attackers.
Cryptographic key and X509 digital certificate are some IoT PKI security methods that can be used as well as public or private key management, distribution, and revocation.
3. Ensure Communication Protection
The IoT concept works on communication between the connected devices. However, when communication is compromised, there will be a communication breakdown that can render the devices useless.
Many people don’t know how to prevent putting themselves at risk online regularly. They don’t know that to ensure smooth communication always, the communication should be encrypted. The same principle applies to communication between the connected devices and the interface such as web apps and mobile apps.
Some notable encryptions that can be implemented are AES 256, HTTP, AES 128, and a host of others. This layer of protection renders the interface impregnable to potential hackers.
4.Secure the Network
IoT devices are connected to back-end systems that are already connected to the Internet via an IoT network. This network plays a crucial role in the smooth operation of IoT devices.
To sustain the smooth operation, there is a need for the IoT network to be protected and secured. By employing some endpoint security features like anti-malware, antivirus, intrusion prevention, and firewalls, you can effectively protect the network and secure it against attacks.
5.Ensure Device Authentication
You can also reduce your IoT devices’ vulnerability to attacks if you carry out a comprehensive device authentication for your devices.
There are multiple authentication features that are available for IoT devices. Some, like digital certificates, two-factor authentication, and biometric, ensure that nobody can have unauthorized access to your devices. A potential attacker will need some personal information to gain access to the devices and pieces of information that you are the only one that has access to.
Although using IoT devices is not a crime and poses zero threat, the vulnerability to attacks from cyberspace makes it important that you secure your devices and reduce your exposure to attacks.
When you implement some of the suggested security options discussed in this piece, rest assured that your IoT devices are well secured against external breach of security. Thus, you will enjoy the numerous benefits of having IoT devices at home, in the office, and somewhere else, and still have the satisfaction of being secure from cybercrime.
Lead image via Pixabay
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