The era of digitization has heralded the development and growth of the internet. Now, the internet is not only associated with people but also with objects. IoT connected devices have taken the world by storm and can be found making lives easier in every type of situation. Smart televisions, smart refrigerators, internet bonding devices etc. come with myriad benefits, which has increased their popularity and usage both in the corporate world as well as in common households. While the instances of IoT products are increasing, so are IoT security issues. Deploying advanced technology in uncontrolled environments always comes with a high degree of associated risk. Read on to know 7 IoT security risks that everyone dealing with IoT should keep in mind:

Compliance Issues

While manufacturing IoT connected devices, the onus lies on the manufacturers to ensure safety and security and reduce chances of data breaches. However, in general, manufacturers either lack adequate knowledge about IoT compliance or just do not consider security as an important issue. Lack of compliance is a critical IoT security issue as it results in several unidentified vulnerabilities. Compliance issues with regards to insecure data transfer, unsafe data storage, obsolete embedded operating system etc can create dangerous data security breaches.

IoT Malware

Anything connected to the internet comes with related risks like malware and ransomware. Malware can be a major security risk as it allows harmful and malicious computer programs to infiltrate smart devices, damage them and capture valuable data from them. On the other hand, IoT ransomware can hold your important data stored in your smart devices ransom by encrypting your devices. Since IoT devices lack security updates, such botnet attacks can wreak havoc by harming several devices on a large scale.

Lack of updates

One of the primary reasons for IoT security attacks is the lack of periodical security updates. Most IoT devices hardly get any updates, resulting in increased opportunities for security attacks. Moreover, even in cases of devices with updates, there is no option for automatic updates, resulting in owners avoiding updating their devices. With time, vulnerabilities increase and even the latest software can become unsafe. IoT device manufacturers must keep track of new gaps and vulnerabilities in the software so that the devices can be updated as and when these gaps are discovered, giving no time for security breaches.

Lack of updates

One of the primary reasons for IoT security attacks is the lack of periodical security updates. Most IoT devices hardly get any updates, resulting in increased opportunities for security attacks. Moreover, even in cases of devices with updates, there is no option for automatic updates, resulting in owners avoiding updating their devices. With time, vulnerabilities increase and even the latest software can become unsafe. IoT device manufacturers must keep track of new gaps and vulnerabilities in the software so that the devices can be updated as and when these gaps are discovered, giving no time for security breaches.

Weak credentials

Most IoT connected devices come with some default credentials and factory settings. Default passwords are easily hackable and many devices do not come with any warning to change the password. Unauthenticated credentials hamper device security and make it vulnerable to harmful attacks and viruses. The best example of this is the Mirai malware which found and identified IoT products which were vulnerable to attacks and used the default credentials to log in and infect them. Using default passwords and login details can expose companies and their clients to large-scale attacks by hackers.

Small botnet attacks

When thinking about IoT related issues and attacks, most people only consider large-scale attacks. However, with hackers becoming more and more advanced, the probability of smaller but equally dangerous botnet attacks are increasing. Small botnet attacks focus on leaking small quantities of valuable information instead of harming large records simultaneously. Such smaller attacks can go undetected, thereby causing more harm. IoT product manufacturers must create in-depth security measures that detect small-scale botnet attacks and protect the devices from the same.

User awareness

The easiest way to infect IoT connected devices is via the humans handling the devices. While tech-savvy people may be aware of security risks related to computer systems, IoT devices are still quite new in the industry, resulting in a lack of user knowledge. Consequently, people using smart devices can get exposed to high-risk situations. Users must be made aware of these security risks associated with smart devices. Generating user awareness about IoT malware, IoT ransomware, vulnerabilities and safety measures is the best way to avoid social engineering attacks, like the Stuxnet attack.

Encryption

Securing IoT devices isn’t enough to protect against advanced hackers. Smart device manufacturers and owners must also secure all communications between IoT devices, apps and the cloud. This can be done with the help of encryption. High-level encryption, like transport encryption and adopting standards like the TLS, will ensure that device owners can protect their devices against security risks. Apart from using encryption while transmitting data, usage of private networks can also ensure safe and secure communication.

With hackers becoming increasingly advanced, it is becoming increasingly important to secure all IoT devices. Not paying enough attention to IoT related risks can result in huge data and privacy breaches, which can harm life and property. While handling smart devices in the office and home, all the associated risks should be carefully analysed and measures should be taken to mitigate the same. Read on to know 5 ways in which home wireless networks can be enhanced.