3 min read

Cyber Security in IoT Devices

Cyber Security in IoT Devices

Effective cyber security in IoT devices is a huge concern for companies all over the world. Let's examine why cyber security is so important for the Internet of Things in particular, and how you can keep your devices safe. 

Internet of Things technology has become hugely popular in the business world in recent years. From industrial IoT technology to domestic smart security systems, Betanews reports that 61% of companies now use IoT platforms. 

However, the same article goes on to share a less favourable statistic - 28% of organisations have also experienced cyber attacks, several of which were aimed at IoT technology. This statistic alone demonstrates how important it is to take the correct cyber security measures when using IoT devices in the workplace. 

When IoT device administrators practise weak cyber security, the results are often detrimental - malware, data leaks and information being shared with unauthorised parties are just a few of the reasons why it is important to take security seriously. 

Luckily, there are several measures that can be taken to ensure ultimate cyber security within IoT devices. Let's examine this in more detail. 

The IoT Value Chain

Much like any technological venture, IoT is composed of a strict architecture that allows the devices to function efficiently. However, much of IoT's functionality is wireless - which makes things a little more complicated. 

The IoT value chain is a sort of blueprint for IoT devices, or a way of explaining how each part of the system plays an integral role in delivering and enacting commands. Notably, if even one layer in the IoT value chain is unsecured, the whole system could become compromised. 

The primary component in the IoT value chain is the physical device itself. From smart speakers to home heating systems, these devices include sensors and actuators - the second component on the value chain. The role of the sensors and actuators is to collect information from the physical device's environment, and then respond accordingly. 

The tertiary component, the communications hardware, connects to a wireless network such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or 5G. The information gathered by the sensors initially is delivered via a connectivity network to the backend system, where the data can be analysed appropriately. 

Any of these components can easily be compromised by cyber attacks if the correct security measures are not taken. However, the two most common forms of cyber attacks on IoT devices are physical attacks and encryption attacks, both of which involve gaining control over the physical IoT system and obtaining access to valuable data. 

IoT Cyber Security Risks

For anyone aiming to improve the cyber security in their IoT devices, it is important to take note of weak spots that could make an IoT fleet more vulnerable. 

cyber attack

  • Shared networks. Essentially, the more devices that share the same network, the higher the risk of a security compromise. For instance, a cyber criminal could hack into one IoT device, and then gain access to sensitive data on the source network. The best solution is to ensure that each IoT device uses a different network, equipped with firewalls or security gateways. 

  • Unencrypted transmissions. If an IoT device is lacking secure encryption, its data is immediately more vulnerable to attackers. That is why IoT device management
    software is essential to ensure that information remains secured (more on this later). 

  • Poor authentication. This may sound obvious, but weak authentication puts IoT devices at a huge risk of cyber attacks - and it can be resolved so easily! Strong passwords and MFA are two big ways to improve the cyber security on any IoT device. 

  • Outdated applications. Unfortunately, some IoT devices are simply old, and cannot perform to the same standards as more recent developments. This can also make them more vulnerable to cyber attacks. If this is the case, it is better to invest in a more up-to-date system than risk compromising company security. 

How to Secure IoT Devices

Of course, there are plenty of ways to secure your IoT devices to the point of them being virtually impenetrable.

As well as making the adjustments mentioned above, investing in IoT device management software is a sure-fire way to keep your Internet of Things devices under control and safe from attackers. But what is management software, and how can it increase the cyber security in IoT devices? 

Fundamentally, IoT device management software is a way to provide IoT systems with an extra layer of security. This comes in especially handy if a company is managing a whole fleet of devices - tasks such as performing updates and maintenance are essential for security, but can be difficult to initiate manually. Luckily, IoT device management software allows you to tend to your devices in the most convenient way imaginable. 

  • Updates and maintenance. A lot of the time, physical IoT devices are easier to target if they haven't been updated, or if vulnerable areas haven't been maintained and fixed. IoT device management platforms allow users to make these changes to a whole fleet of devices at once. 

  • Device monitoring. Keeping a firm eye on your IoT devices is the key to ensuring that everything is working as it should. IoT device management allows for remote monitoring and diagnostics, allowing users to see how their device is performing and identify any problems in real time. 

  • Provisioning. Secured provisioning and authentication allows companies to ensure that only trusted devices are enrolled in their IoT network.

  • Remote control and configuration. With remote control and configuration capabilities, you can manage over your IoT devices and adjust settings as and when you deem appropriate. 

Secure IoT Solutions

Overall, IoT devices have provided businesses with numerous benefits. When cared for appropriately, maintaining efficient cyber security in IoT devices is very straightforward. 

Your Comms Group are experts in everything relating to IoT. Our cloud-based solutions provide ultimate security and operability, and we can also provide our users with an effective IoT device management platform to keep things extra secure. For more information, get in touch with our friendly team today. 

 

 

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