The introduction of various systems powered by the Internet of Things has seriously transformed business processes in a wide range of industries from manufacturing to healthcare. However, the use of counterpart devices connected to a network leads to an increased number of cybersecurity risks and challenges that can result in serious financial and reputational losses for businesses of different types and sizes.
The global IoT spending in 2023 is around $805 billion. Companies are ready to invest in IoT-powered solutions as such products can play a key role in managing and automating a lot of crucial processes which can become an important step toward overall productivity and performance enhancement. However, for companies, it is vital to understand that they should pay attention not only to the functionality of the introduced solutions but also to the security and protection of the gathered and processed data.
Types of IoT attacks
Of course, when you cooperate with reliable development teams like a department that specializes in building solutions powered by the Internet of Things, you can consider that you are on the safe side and that professionals will take care of the protection of your products. Nevertheless, it will be useful to get a basic understanding of IoT cybersecurity and ways to ensure it. Let’s start our brief overview with general information about the most common types of IoT attacks.
- Vulnerabilities related to connected devices. Smart devices are always one of the key targets for cybercriminals. Firmware, memory, network services, and web or physical interfaces are always under threat. The use of obsolete components, insecure settings, as well as lack of updates are among those factors that can make your devices easy prey for attackers.
- Issues with connectivity and communication channels. Cybercriminals can use the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of IoT protocols to get access to sensitive business data and achieve their goals. So-called spoofing and DoS are among the most widely spread attacks that take place in the IoT sector.
- Attacks on mobile apps and web software. Any vulnerabilities related to software and applications that are connected to IoT devices and are part of the Internet of Things systems can pose a threat to the whole business system. For example, attackers can be interested in stealing user private data or spreading malicious updates for software and firmware.
How can you protect your IoT solutions from cybersecurity attacks
The quality of your IoT system, as well as the protection tools and mechanisms introduced at the development stage, are among the aspects that have an impact on IoT cybersecurity. Nevertheless, there are some other techniques and approaches that can be and should be introduced when you operate IoT solutions at your enterprise.
- Use only those passwords that ensure the strongest protection. What do we usually mean when we are talking about strong passwords? They should be hard for people or software tools to guess. There are requirements regarding the length and composition of a password. “The longer the better” is one of the primary principles. That’s why a strong password should represent around 8-16 characters including letters (lower and upper case), special symbols, and numbers.
- Always change the passwords installed by default. When you start using a new IoT device received from a manufacturer, very often this device will already have a default password. But we highly recommend you set a new password which will help to avoid risks of unauthorized access to your devices and data collected by them.
- Regularly update your IoT devices. The majority of smartphone users are aware of the necessity to install the latest updates on their operating systems to ensure the required performance and security. The same rule works when you have Internet of Things devices. As a rule, their manufacturers send updates to their users. If you haven’t received any updates, you can check the website of the device manufacturer to find out whether there are new updates.
- Check and change the default settings of your devices. Always carefully consider all the settings on IoT devices after you receive them from the manufacturer and change them. It should be done to minimize risks of cyberattacks and better understand how the device works and interacts with other components of your IoT system.
- Use REST-based APIs to protect data. Such APIs can help you manage and control the movement of data between your apps, systems, and smart devices. Moreover, thanks to security APIs, you will be informed about attacks against these services and potential threats.
Instead of a closing word
Given the specificity of IoT systems, the provision of their security is always a challenging task even for the best specialists in the field. Nevertheless, thanks to the implementation of the best IoT cybersecurity practices, you can greatly reduce the risks and mitigate the consequences of potential attacks. That’s why the questions of the protection of your IoT solutions can’t be ignored if you want to ensure seamless functioning and high reliability of your system.