IoT security threats and challenges: How to secure IoT devices at the workplace

Several IoT devices are simple in their construction but are resource-constrained, which makes it difficult to implement strong security measures. Take humidity monitors for example. These sensors are not designed to handle advanced encryption.IoT (Internet of Things) is a promising technology that has revolutionized various industries. From smart homes to smart cars and healthcare, IoT has shown a luminous potential to change the world. According to Built IO, the world will have 28.5 billion networked devices by the year 2022.However, some unfortunate incidents have raised some serious concerns regarding IoT security. During most of these incidents, a common IoT device was used to infiltrate and attack the larger network. It is extremely important to understand the problems and challenges that can compromise an organization’s security. Here are some of the biggest challenges to IoT security and their solutions:ChallengesSince IoT is a relatively new technology, there are plenty of holes that need to be plugged. Moreover, the pressure to launch faster to the market leads to a compromise with the security.Another major security issue with IoT is the extensive use of hardcoded or default passwords. Additionally, changing these passwords wouldn’t do much good if the passwords aren’t strong enough.Several IoT devices are simple in their construction but are resource-constrained, which makes it difficult to implement strong security measures. Take humidity monitors for example. These sensors are not designed to handle advanced encryption.Many IoT devices are designed to be placed and then forgotten until the end of their life. They seldom receive any security updates,and the manufacturers do not focus on these areas because it can increase the production cost and delay the development process.Also, several systems only include support for a certain amount of time. For legacy and new assets, security can be severely compromised without extra support. Since many IoT devices stay in the network for a long time, adding security can be quite a challenge.IoT security also suffers from a lack of standardization. There are many IoT security frameworks in the market and every player has their own set of standards.The only way of improving IoT security is by sharing the responsibility between manufacturers, service providers, and end-users. While the manufacturers must implement security measures in their products, the user also needs to be cautious by updating passwords and installing security patches regularly.How to protect IoT systems and devicesTo create a foolproof IoT system, one needs to ensure that proper security measures are implemented at every stage. The product manufacturers need to focus on building security from the start – making the hardware tamper-proof, planning for upgrades, etc. The solution developer must concentrate on secure software development and secure integration. While deploying IoT systems, hardware security and authentication need to be kept in mind.The operators, however, need to keep the systems up-to-date, mitigate malware, and safeguard the credentials. Let us discuss these security measures in detail:Starting from the design phase: IoT developers must implement security measures at the design phase. Default security is critical when it comes to preventing breaches.Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificates: Obtaining PKI and digital certificates are vital for the development of breach-resistant IoT devices.API security: API security is necessary to ensurethe safe passage of data that aresent from IoT devices to back-end systems. It also ensures that authorized devices, developers, and apps can communicate with the APIs.Giving unique identifiers: By giving every device a unique identifier, we can keep track of the device’s behavior and intervene in case it is interacting with an unauthorized device.Hardware security: Manufacturers need to test their devices to ensure that they are tamper-proof – especially if the devices will be installed in places where they cannot be monitored physically.Encryption: Encryption is the key to ensuring safe communication between different devices. All data needs to be secured by using cryptographic algorithms.Implementing Security gateways: Security gateways act as an intermediary between IoT devices and the network, and possess a higher processing power, larger memory, and better capabilities as compared to the IoT devices. These features allow them to implement strong security measures (such as firewalls) to prevent hackers from accessing IoT devices.Updates and patches: Developers should offer ways to either update the devices and software over network connections or via automation.Educating consumers: While IoT is an incredible technology, it can also be a threat. Therefore, it is essential to teach consumers about the different risks associated with the IoT systems and the measures that they can take to prevent such breaches.IoT technology has the potential to transform the world and make the future comfortable and convenient. However, our devices need to be secured simply because they store a considerable amount of personalized data. With the aforementioned steps, one can avert all challenges of IoT security.

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