IoT (Internet of Things) is the latest trend in technology. It is gearing up fast to connect any hardware devices to your smart devices. Now, you can literally manage any devices and situations as you wish to use IoT.
But, is this most speculated and talked about technology secured? Technocrats prove it otherwise.
HP made a heartbreaking discovery. They have found that about 70% of IoT devices are prone to attack.
Wikileaks showed that through IoT, smart TVs can be used as recording devices, to overhear conversations. In this digital era, safety is the last thing on our checklist. Bank accounts, Mobile passwords, Mobile galleries are all vulnerable to these security issues. So what can you do about this? Read on to know further about the potential threats and how you can deal with it.
Interested in IoT? Catch the 5 Step Strategy for IoT implementation in Business:
Major IoT Security Issues we Need to Handle:
1. Data Encryption:
In digital transmission, whichever data you send will be encoded, which can be retrieved by the user. Hackers are always looking for possible ways to steal these data. At a finger snap, your data could be at their fingertips. Imagine you can store your bank details in your smartwatch. There is no assurance that Hackers can’t steal this data away from you. Is this all you want? There are some probable ways by which you can safeguard yourself.
- Use Secure Sockets Layer Protocol (SSL) whenever you deal with data online. Most of the websites use SSL certification for encryption and protection of user data.
- Always make use of the wireless protocol with inbuilt encryption. During wireless data transmission, data needs to be encrypted. Hence assure that there are sensitive data locations only available for specified users.
- Use firewalls in case of web applications.
2. Data Authentication:
So, Data has been encrypted. What if the device is hacked? Hackers are obviously jack of all trades, and master of many. They are capable of much more than we think.
Let’s suppose you have purchased an IoT device to regulate car parking. The data might pop-up wrong, making you believe there were only vehicles parked. The actual number might have been 7. The No.7 Car driver might misuse the data and indulge in any sort of activity in your building. To avoid all this, use proper protocols that can provide with:
- Customer anonymity
- Secure session key establishment
- Mutual authentication
- Look if the certificates provided to the smart device is legal. Think twice, before you buy an IoT device.
Read More: 13 Statistics Defining the Future of IoT
3. IoT Hardware Issues:
Tech giants like ARM and Intel have started making security amendments to their smart devices. The reason behind this is IoT. Owing to its hype and catchy theme, IoT was able to attract the masses. This stirred many security issues. Smart devices became vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Hardware issues have opened up plenty of questions among IoT enthusiasts.
These chips will ensure a hike in their manufacturing costs. The complex designs will need more battery power. Not all wearable devices will use such chips. Hence secured devices won’t be affordable to everyone. There has to be a better technology, which is approachable to everyone in terms of cost and usage. If devices are not cost-friendly to each and every user, then IoT will always remain a rather elite technology.
There was a time when an area consisted of only one PC. It was an envy of the economic class. But it all changed one day owing to mass production rate and automation. This could be the case for IoT. Safe and secured hardware, along with cost-efficient solutions could pop up in future times. This will benefit a large audience in more ways.
4. Hardware testing is inevitable:
Smart IoT devices have to undergo testing before manufacturing. This will reduce IoT security challenges. But, could we always rely on testing that is done by the production unit? Could we not self-test our IoT device? Well, it’s possible.
Device range, the memory capacity of the device, scalability, reconfigurability, and latency of the device must be tested upon, before buying any IoT device. Who knows, if the device is safe enough to be trusted? Unless we test it, we can’t trust the device.
Most importantly, Do it yourself (DIY). Manufacturing testing will enable you to understand that the device is under your control and the data too. There are several YouTube videos and other sources available on the internet, which will help you in this process.
5. Managing updates:
Updates are a regular process, which every product involves. It is not possible for an over-the-air update, updates without downtime. Data might need to be pulled out temporarily or physically accessed. Some devices might not support data updates especially older ones. The owner might not have opted for a device update. In such cases, keeping track of updates is difficult. But you can make use of your device manager to keep track of the versions on each device. This will leave a place for more clearance. Some devices support managing rollbacks or pushing out updates.
6. Safe Storage:
Data storage is not a huge challenge nowadays. As much as zillions of bytes can be stored online. There are facilities but with freedom comes responsibilities. Storing data is not a big deal but backing them up is. The source where we back up data might not be the safest. Anyone can steal the data and intrude into our privacy. For example, let us say you have backed up your IoT data into your mobile. You leave the mobile in a pizza shop. Could we guarantee that the mobile would not be stolen? To avoid these issues, use proper mobile passwords and enable two-way authentication, to avoid hassles.
General Tips to avoid IoT Mishaps:-
- Buy a device, only after verifying the certificates thoroughly. Do not buy devices that are cheap and vulnerable.
- Remember the old proverb- Do not judge a book by its cover? It will match for IoT. Research yourself thoroughly before buying any IoT device. Do not trust blindly. Every device has its own defects.
- Only go for devices that offer security assurances. Enquire your dealers regarding this. Buy a device that is cost-efficient, at the same time, secure.
- Ensure that the data you store is visible to only you. Enable private locks and security passwords.
- In case of open-source data, do not leave the data unchecked. This could later lead to dismay since hackers are everywhere!
- Never fail to use the SSL layer and HTTPS protocol. This will help you to safely secure your data, in case of web data.
- Take care of your personal belongings where you have stored your IoT data. Always note the IMEI number in the case of mobile phones. If at all you lose it, be sure to take steps like calling up your service provider or customer care to inform them that you have lost your mobile. This way, data could be safely stored to an extent.
- There are several IoT wearable available. But choose only devices that are necessary to you, in your official or personal life. Never buy them just for the sake of experimenting. This could lead to trouble.
Hope this information helps in securing your IoT device successfully.
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