Although there are loads of security vulnerabilities built into IoT devices, there are some simple steps to take to protect your business.

Internet of things

When the Internet of Things was first talked about, cyber security experts raised concerns about how the IoT brings a new level of convenience to many routine tasks such as turning lights on and off or creating shopping lists from a “smart” refrigerator; the price though is low or no security for these devices.

Just recently, a group of researchers successfully attacked smart devices dependent on Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technologies. MEMS are used in motion-driven applications including:

  • Implantable medical devices
  • Avionics
  • Cars
  • Critical industrial systems

These applications share a common vulnerability – sensors that transmit sound waves can manipulate data. However, the IoT has other pressing vulnerabilities.

IoT Vulnerabilities

Homes today, have as many as 15 devices connected to the internet and are part of the Internet of Things. While the above example about sound waves successfully being weaponized for attacks on MEMS is complex, other hacking schemes aren’t. In October of 2016 hackers, using a software program called “Mirai malware,” found hundreds of thousands of unsecured IoT devices, linked them together into a botnet and waged a successful denial of service attack against a security website named KrebsonSecurity. Worse, this software is free for download on the web.

Most IoT devices have no security.

Clifford Neuman, director of the Center for Computer Systems Security at the University of Southern California said:

“Five years ago, most people couldn’t easily access the security cameras in their homes or use the internet to turn off lights throughout the house. But now, these things are easy-to-use, mass-market devices and hackers are using them as a stepping stone to launch attacks.”

Top Security Vulnerabilities Associated with IoT

Consumers are slowly becoming aware of the potential for security breaches for IoT devices. A survey by Vormetric found that:

  • 61% of survey respondents said they have a fear of hacking of internet home security video and internet connected cars.
  • 49% already own IoT devices and that includes 56% of Millennials.
  • 52% fear that a personal assistant like Amazon Echo are vulnerable to hacking

Business and consumer IoT users occasionally overlap with concerns; following are some of the top security concerns with the IoT.

  1. Interfering with industrial facilities
  2. Issues with cars – industry & consumers
  3. Surveillance video cameras – industry & consumers
  4. IoT-Enabled Spying and Potential for Cyberwarfare
  5. Power Grids and Utilities
  6. Buildings, commercial and residential – industry & consumers
  7. Municipal infrastructure and transportation networks
  8. Medical devices and healthcare facilities – industry & consumers
  9. Airplanes
  10. Information stored by retailers as well as other stored databases with consumer or patient information – industry & consumers

Tips to Protect Your Business from Internet of Things Attacks

Although there are loads of security vulnerabilities built into IoT devices, there are some simple steps to take to protect your business. They follow:

  • Update your software as soon as security patches are released
  • Change factory set default passwords as soon as you place a piece of equipment into service
  • Always use WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) for your wireless devices
  • Make sure you and any employees that take work home have secured home computer systems.
  • Backup data and know how to restore it
  • Get IT help. Hackers depend on user ignorance for successful attacks. Many small and medium-sized businesses turn to managed service providers (MSPs) for security help.

Help is waiting for you. Nachman Networks in Washington DC, Northern Virginia & Maryland is a trusted source for IoT security support as well as providing you with up-to-date information, hacks, tips, and tricks for IT. (703) 600-3301 or us for more information.