It doesn’t take more than a few seconds for your email composed in Bahrain to reach the outskirts of central United States. Clothing purchased from Milan, Italy can be delivered to Johannesburg, South Africa in a matter of days. The decline of the 20th century witnessed some pretty powerful technologies to make the world shrink to the level of a tiny tennis ball in the context of communication.
Adjusting to this new age hasn’t been easy for some. But today, most of us only look ahead to see what else beholds us. Technology works towards making our lives easier and we have to simply look at the milestones we have achieved as a civilization. Today, news about any major event from one nation can be broadcasted throughout the globe within minutes. This just goes to show how deeply connected we are today with technology than at any other point in our lives.
Talking to a person thousands of miles away with a device smaller than your palm would have been almost like a fairy-tale just 100 years from now. But today, we can even fathom communicating with inanimate objects and order them to do the tasks we want. This what IoT is all about.
IoT or the Internet of Things is a phenomenon where you can communicate with your devices that are connected with each other. The only lifeline it needs to function is the internet.
In other words, you can connect all the possible devices (even across the globe) to the internet. Because the idea is very loosely defined in this, it might be usually hard to pinpoint the exact applications of it. In IoT, whatever is connected to the devices, can both give and receive information. This is what gives them the term “smart devices”. Things connected to the internet can come in three categories:
• Devices engaged in collecting information
• Devices engaged in receiving information
• Devices are adept to do both
Now, that we have a fair idea of what IoT consists of, let us have a look at some of the most common security threats. Knowing these threats will help you take preventive measures in protecting yourself from them in the future.
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So, here are some of the most common IoT threats that likely pose serious threats in the coming future.
#1. Unsecured Networks
This refers to the vulnerabilities that might be attached to the systems. They pose serious threats for the users as they can be exploited by hackers or other malicious people.
When you have so many devices connected to the internet, there are multiple spots for hackers to enter into your system from. This is the main cause of why there are so many skeptics about the global use of IoT. The result can anything from getting access to confidential data to stealing financial items for their personal gain.
There are many problems that can lead to an unsecured network such as Universal Plug and Play, DoS, user Datagram Protocol, buffer flow and many others.
To counteract them, you can make sure that only vital ports are accessible instead of all or not leaving network ports open.
#2. Tampering with the System Physically
Malware can also be injected into the system with the help of open ports and even mobile charging points. Physical tampering would imply that the attacker has to disassemble a device and gain access to storage media and the data collected in that medium or device. Not to mention, if such devices are used to configure parts of the control systems, being in the wrong hands can cause massive issues.
There are always steps to counteract these. For example, using encryption and making it difficult to remove can lower the problem. Also, making sure that only those ports needed for product function should only be given access.
#3. Autonomous Systems
Devices or systems that operate most of its functions autonomously are easily targeted by hackers compared to those that have its functions shared. In IoT, the need for human intervention in the operations is lowered, and this poses a severe threat as they are hard to track. It is much like a Waymo vehicle (Google self-driving cars) that have been hacked to disable its lookout cameras.
Those cameras and sensors play a vital role in the movement of the car and can detect where an object is nearing. Tampering with these systems can easily cause a severe accident. There are multiple ways to attack and control the neural networks of independently functioning devices.
There are not many ways to prevent such attacks but to create a more complex layer of the system that will make the hacker harder to gain access to the system.
#4. Outdated System Updates and Protocols
Updates are created for the purpose of keeping vulnerabilities and bugs at bay. But using an outdated update can actually reserve this effect if not cause more damage to it. Some smart devices might even be using outdated protocols and not even be aware of it. In that way, even if they are hacked, they might not even know it as they give birth to sever weak points in the system.
Regular updates can help in fixing such issues. So it is vital to keep a check on them and immediately fix them if they are no longer relevant.
#5. Privacy Breaches
Malevolent device makers can even track your every move through IoT. They usually occur because your personal data stored within the device can be accessed by anyone. Those tools can then identify specific patterns.
This is why it is always advised that the use of products from well-known companies is for the best. But not all of them are free of controversies either. Companies such as Huawei and ZTE were accused by many nations of similar acts and currently, Huawei faces serious bans from the US. So, before you buy the device, make sure to look up the company to get a taste of its overall reputation.
IoT is will be staying here for a very long time and is predicted to become even larger in the coming decades. Therefore, despite the vulnerabilities that exist in IoT systems and devices, our major focus lies in keeping our privacy safe from those who wish to cause harm.
So, if you find yourself inclined towards learning about cybersecurity, you can try out the “CompTIA Security+ Certification (SY0-401): The Total Course”. The tutorial comes with more than 13 hours of video that covers 12 vital sections. These include detailed knowledge about host security, application security, LAN security, wireless security, physical security and much more!
Alternatively, you can also try out the more advanced “CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst CySA+ (CSA+). The Total Course”. It comprises 17 vital sections, covered with 7 hours of video. You will learn about vulnerability management, incidence response, forensics tools, defense strategies, compromise symptoms and much more.