How Can You Bring More Security to IoT Devices?

In all the buzz surrounding the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT), the downsides have been largely ignored. There is no doubt that the world stands to gain significantly from this web of interconnected devices, but if security is not properly addressed, it could lead to unprecedented problems. In fact, 451 Research has found that security is the number one impediment to the success of the IoT.

According to research, most systems are actually not compromised via high-tech vulnerabilities. Instead, it is a simply lack of basic security measures that makes these systems easy to breach. The devices at risk range from smartphones and tablets to network printers, video cameras, sensor equipment and even medical equipment.

Lots of vulnerabilities can be found in supply chains. Here are a few ways to keep the damage to a minimum.

Encryption and Passwords

IoT devices are not known for their sound encryption practices. With most devices using ordinary web protocols that communicate in plain text across the internet, it’s easy to see how hackers can find vulnerabilities so easily. All web traffic needs to make a point of using secure protocols when communicating across the internet and with management stations, including transport layer security, HTTPS, DNS security extensions, and Secure File Transfer Protocol. Devices connecting to remote gateways such as mobile apps need to make use of encrypted protocols.

IT managers must be aware of malware like Mirai, which scans the internet for IoT systems using factory default protections and exploits them. This is why default passwords and other security settings need to be changed regularly. Multifactor authentication can also make a big difference. This requires a number of different steps to be followed before logging in, such as a password followed by an SMS code sent to the user’s cell phone.

If the IoT is to survive and thrive, security needs to be given serious attention and vulnerabilities need to be closed.




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