“IoT Security Challenges and Best Practices”

With IoT devices projected to almost double from 15.1 billion in 2020 to more than 29 billion in 2030 globally, IoT security has become essential. 

IoT cyber attacks are causing industries to improve their IoT security measure and enhance their management of security risks to maintain safe operations and decrease system vulnerabilities.

Cyber attacks on vital industries like healthcare and aviation may severely affect the functioning, processes, and data. With this in mind, businesses and development teams need to address IoT vulnerability to protect their operations and end users.

The Importance of IoT Security 

The IoT technology is rapidly growing. 

The billions of IoT devices that are connected to the internet infrastructure are communicating with each other by collecting and sharing data about how they’re being used and their environment. 

IoT security is an umbrella term for strategies aimed at the protection of IoT devices from cyber attacks. These attacks may include anything from unauthorized access and data breaches to physical tampering with devices.

IoT best practices protect, determine, and monitor threats, risks, and breaches in IoT systems. As it’s an interconnected system, the network that the IoT devices and computing devices share is as powerful as its weakest link.

Accessing even one device may allow the hacker to potentially access the whole network and compromise valuable data. Preventing such scenarios is of utmost importance for different sectors. 

For example, strong security measures that will protect sensitive data are crucial for our partners, the iGame Project consortium. They develop toolkits to speed up the innovative processes taking place in mHealth and eHealth apps.  

What Are the Challenges IoT Security Is Currently Facing?

IoT devices are increasing in number and complexity.

The issue is that many of them weren’t created with security and connectivity in mind, which makes them more open to attacks. 

Although there are ongoing efforts to create effective protocols that will maximize security, there are plenty of IoT security challenges that remain. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones:

  • Vulnerable open-source code

A lot of the firmware for IoT devices has an open-source code. This increases the risk of attacks and unauthorized access.

  • A high volume of data

The high volume of data that IoT devices generate may increase the risk of oversights, inadequate protection, and poor management.

  • Low visibility 

Many IoT device users use these devices without the IT departments being aware. This makes it harder to get an accurate estimate of which devices need protection and monitoring.

  • Weak passwords 

If the passwords of these devices are weak or generic, there’s a higher risk of cyber attacks. 

  • Insufficient testing 

A lot of developers don’t prioritize the security of IoT devices. Unfortunately, this may prevent necessary tests for vulnerability that will address the potential weaknesses of the system.

  • API vulnerability 

Weak APIs are often abused as entry points for cyber attacks.

Which Are the Best IoT Practices to Ensure Maximum Safety?

An all-encompassing approach is necessary to prevent IoT vulnerabilities and protect devices. This protection requires the implementation of different tools and methods to create a more robust and less vulnerable system. 

Let’s check out some of the IoT best practices for security:

  • Adequate protocols

Securing IoT devices requires identifying the protocols and how they interact with each other. These rules and standards determine the communication and transfer of data. 

Each of the protocols (MQTT, CoAP, HTTP, etc.) has its pros and cons, including speed, reliability, and security. An experienced DevOps team is crucial to ensure the best protocols and optimal maintenance. 

  • Network safety 

Network security is essential for the security of IoT devices. A secure network will only allow the authenticated devices to enter.

For maximum safety, it’s essential to establish a secure firewall, multi-factor authentication, regular antivirus software updates, and continuous monitoring.

  • Data encryption 

Unfortunately, 98 percent of IoT traffic isn’t encrypted. 

Encrypting the data exchanged between IoT devices is a vital security measure. Devices with trusted algorithms for encryption are the go-to practice for the protection of sensitive data.

  • Password “hygiene”

Hackers often access devices by hacking default passwords. 

To prevent the risk of attacks due to poor password protection, keeping a good password practice via regular changes and updates is crucial. 

  • Gateway security 

A company can protect its IoT devices with the help of gateway security. This enforces policies about internet access and averts malware attacks. 

This is a necessary step to reduce security risks for web traffic and internal and external device attacks. Threat-monitoring solutions and VPNs are also important for securing connections and minimizing data leaks and attacks.

Final Thoughts 

With the expansion of digital technology and IoT devices, the need for the prevention of IoT vulnerabilities by establishing quality security practices is higher than ever. These devices are part of our everyday lives and they’ve changed how we live and work. 

They’re also part of vital industries like healthcare where maximum security measures are necessary to ensure the safety and protection of sensitive data. 

ArtHaus has been delivering effective IT solutions for businesses worldwide for more than two decades. If you want to discover all about reducing IoT vulnerabilities and IoT best practices, don’t hesitate and contact us today!