Internet of Things and the cybersecurity threats it brings

Mar 21, 2022 | Cybersecurity Explained | 0 comments

Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new concept in today’s modern world. These devices have installed different sensors that collect data and exchange it through various internet networks. We have seen more comprehensive adoption of such solutions as part of the digital transition of many industries. That trend is positive and has many benefits for both users and companies. However, there is something fundamental to consider – how are these connected devices protected from potential cyber-attacks? 

Digi News shows that IoT devices have been subject to 1,5 billion cyberattacks in 2021 alone. And the number is increasing as time passes. A report from Zscaler from 2020 showed a 700% increase in attacks on IoT devices since 2019. The article mentioning the word states that in 2021, only 24% of the information exchange in IoT was encrypted. 

What are the main weaknesses in the security of IoT devices? 

As data shows, there is a high risk of IoT devices, in general, being compromised by a cyber attack. Here are the principal vulnerabilities they have that may lead to such dire outcomes. 

Weak link #1: Bad password protection

“There is nothing new under the sun”, as we say in Bulgaria. Weak password protection has been a problem in cybersecurity for many years now, and it has transitioned to IoT.  

Weak link #2: Bad network security

Another point of entry for hackers can come from the poor security of network services, and it gives access to sensitive information from IoT devices. 

Weak link #3: Failing to update with the latest security patches

That is another common mistake that is not related to IoT devices alone. There is often a security breach of devices with out-of-date software versions. Usually, hackers use such vulnerabilities and attack devices that run old software versions with weaknesses that have not been patched. We told you a story several months ago about such a case. 

There are other cyber threats to IoT devices like AI-based attacks and vulnerabilities in the software and applications that run on or communicate with the devices themselves. 

How can we ensure protection on IoT devices?

Every problem has a solution. There are many ways to ensure protection. However, in many cases, we must start with the basics. Here is what companies that use IoT devices can do to improve their cybersecurity: 

  • Train your staff – as you see, a central weak spot comes from poor password protection. To avoid that, you should conduct staff awareness training and enhance the skills and knowledge of your employees about IoT cyber threats and how to deal with them; 
  • Find vulnerabilities and patch them up – it is better to find the weak spots in your systems before the hackers. You can do so with a combination of vulnerability assessment and penetration testing;
  • Continue to invest and maintain a good cybersecurity posture – cybersecurity is a constant and ongoing process. As new cyber threats develop over time, companies must stay updated with their cybersecurity measures. Maintaining good cybersecurity is an essential investment today.

The number of cyberattacks on IoT devices (and not only on them) will continue to grow in the future, and the threats will become more in volume and numbers and more complicated. You can stay protected by working with experienced professionals like 3Cyber-Sec. If you need help with your cybersecurity, please contact us today! 

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