- What is IoT cybersecurity?
- The role of cybersecurity in IoT systems
- Cybersecurity threats
- Why is cybersecurity in IoT systems so important?
The last decade has been a breakthrough for the Internet of Things technology. It has completely changed businesses in various industries, increasing their efficiency and enabling process automation. No wonder, more and more companies are integrating IoT devices into their infrastructure.
However, on every great occasion comes a set of threats that can ruin the entire operation. In the case of IoT systems, this is a cybersecurity breach.
What is IoT cybersecurity?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is based on the concept of connecting physical objects equipped with sensors and dedicated software to a wireless network. The purpose of this connection is to collect and transfer data in real-time over this network without the need for human assistance.
IoT systems are gaining in popularity and can be found both in offices and at home. This means that more and more sensitive data is collected by devices connected to a dedicated network, and while it offers users great convenience, it is also vulnerable to potential cyber-attacks. Therefore, you should be aware of potential threats and pay attention to cybersecurity solutions.
IoT cyberattacks more than doubled year-on-year in the first half of 2021 - according to antivirus and computer security service provider Kaspersky.
Cybersecurity and cyber threats
Cybersecurity can be defined as the practice of protecting confidential information from digital attacks. Valuable information can be found in systems, programs, devices and networks and can be used against the owner of this data in order to interrupt business operations and extort money from users.
There are many types of cybersecurity threats, but the most common are:
- Man in the Middle (MITM)
This type of cyber attack occurs when hackers insert themselves and interrupt traffic during a two-way transaction. They are then able to manipulate and steal sensitive information.
MITM attacks typically occur when users connect to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network. Such attacks are often difficult to detect as users believe their confidential information is being sent to a legitimate destination.
It is defined as a type of application designed to launch a variety of cyberattacks, including viruses, spyware, and perhaps the most noticeable form of malware attacks, ransomware.
Ransomware is a program that encrypts the victim's files and then demands a certain amount of money to provide the decryption key.
It is a type of cyber attack in which a hacker tries to trick users into sharing sensitive information such as credit card details, passwords, etc. The most common forms of phishing attacks include fake emails from legitimate institutions such as banks.
This type of cyber attack is very popular and easy to launch. While most users are aware of this form of cyber threat, phishing is still often quite effective.
The role of cybersecurity in IoT systems
The Internet of Things is growing dynamically year by year, therefore the awareness of cybersecurity threats that are characteristic of IoT systems is of key importance. Whether you've already implemented this technology in your business or are just thinking about it, you need to know how to protect the IoT ecosystem from hackers.
The larger the system of connected devices, the more convenient and efficient it is, but at the same time the risk of cyberattacks increases. Put simply, the more devices connected to a wireless network, the more potential gateways hackers can find and use to infiltrate an IoT system.
Our IoT experts at Order Group have worked on many projects and had to face the challenges of ensuring the security of the Internet of Things systems used by enterprises. As you already know, the larger the scale of the project, the more potential cybersecurity threats there are.
Based on our experience working on projects like Monster, where we designed a complex IoT system to monitor and manage the airport lighting system, we have identified the top five cybersecurity threats that entrepreneurs need to know about.
1.Unsafe data storage and transmission.
Communication between different smart devices in the IoT network is developing rapidly as more and more users use cloud storage. It offers great convenience especially for companies that focus on smooth communication in order to increase the efficiency of their activities.
However, this high-tech solution faces the potential security risks of hacking each time data is received, transmitted, and stored on wireless networks. Why?
Simply because of the lack of access control and encryption before any data is transferred to the IoT system. That is why it is so important to make sure that data transmission and storage are secure with network security management tools such as firewalls.
2. Lack of global risk standards.
When IoT partners want to collaborate strategically, it can create tremendous value for consumers. The problem that arises, however, is thinking about shared responsibility with regard to the security of huge ecosystems, where the related management enforcement will not always work. The larger the IoT ecosystem, the more likely security breaches are which can break the cooperative mindset.
Nevertheless, global standards are already underway, but it will most likely take years before we actually adopt them in real life. This leaves technology leaders and entrepreneurs no choice but to continue working on the development and implementation of their own safety standards without the aid of global regulations.
3. No physical hardening.
Since the very beginning, the lack of physical hardening has been a great concern for devices within IoT systems. The whole idea behind IoT devices is that they are deployed remotely, which means there is no way to implement appropriate security measures on devices that are constantly exposed to possible physical attacks from the surface.
Let's take a look at an example from real life. In a smart device with a memory card, hackers can remove the said card and gain access to sensitive data, which may lead to enabling them to access other systems of higher importance.
4. Low user awareness.
Today's users are already familiar with the various forms of cybersecurity threats when using computers and mobile phones. However, IoT is a new technology that many users are still learning about, discovering its functionalities as well as potential threats.
Therefore, consumers, manufacturers, and even companies continue to pose one of the biggest threats to IoT systems as they can become the target of hackers who will use their inexperience to their advantage.
5. Neglecting to update the firmware.
IoT systems are vulnerable to security breaches due to various bugs. Therefore, manufacturers must constantly work on firmware updates to ensure the security of smart devices.
However, if users fail to install updates due to a lack of will or low transmission speeds, the IoT ecosystem becomes more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Why is cybersecurity in IoT systems so important?
There are three most important aspects of IoT ecosystems that must be secure in order to function properly: hardware, software, and connectivity. If any of them fail to meet security standards, the entire IoT system faces potential cybersecurity threats.
If it is hacked, sensitive data can be stolen and used against the right owner. In the case of smart devices used in homes, such as connected lighting points, such an attack may simply be an inconvenience for the user.
In the event of a data breach from an enterprise's IoT ecosystem, the consequences can be extremely costly and even life-threatening. Hackers controlling industrial IoT devices can change device functionality or reveal confidential data that could ruin your business.
How to protect your company from cyber attacks on IoT systems?
The best thing you can do to protect your business from cyberattacks on IoT systems is to leave it to professionals. At Order Group, we observe the latest developments in cybersecurity solutions and we have experience in designing secure systems for IoT.
If you are currently looking for effective solutions to increase the security of your IoT system, we are here to help. Contact our experts and find out how together we can increase the security of your IoT ecosystem.