Gone are those days when you handled all the electronic devices manually. In this era, many devices can connect to the Internet automatically, which not only reduces manual interruption but also improves work efficiency.
Connected devices are continuously creating great experiences for both businesses and consumers. Devices such as smart TVs, smart watches, fitness devices, air-conditioning systems, Internet-connected light bulbs, etc. are making our life easier by providing uninterrupted connections. While providing sustained services, it is also opening up several security gaps for hackers to target and hack the entire network through one device.
Businesses, nowadays, are heavily relying on IoT devices as they are using sophisticated applications and smart office environments. With more connected devices, we are becoming more vulnerable to hacking. IoT security has now become a vital aspect for businesses to focus on. So, let’s know more about the emerging IoT security threats:
- Spam Emails: As per the Proofpoint, a security service vendor, a refrigerator has been found sending spam emails after a cyber-attack managed to compromise smart gadgets. The refrigerator was one of more than 100,000 devices utilized in the spam campaign. A global hacking campaign successfully targeted several smart devices and turned them into email servers to send out 750,000 malicious email messages. This attack affected numerous IoT devices including smart appliances, home routers, PS3/Xboxes, etc.
- Unsecured Devices: Smart devices with similar or predictable passwords are the most convenient targets for hackers. Since the inception of the Internet, similar or predictable passwords are the most insidious threat for all the devices that can connect to the Internet. But when it comes to IoT, these threats have become more critical. Consumers need to secure their credentials unless the manufacturer insists upon it.
- Home Intrusions: We all have several devices at our homes which are connected such as Smart TVs, Internet operated devices, routers, etc. In this plethora of devices, a hacker can conveniently target any device to enter the network. Hackers can take advantage of the IP addresses of the unsecured devices and use this as a vulnerability to access the location or any other details of the owner. The hackers then sell this data on the dark web where any unauthorized person can misuse the data for their personal amusement.
- Privacy Leaks: You must have heard of inside stories where the entire company’s data got vanished from a single infected computer. Skilled hackers can cause a considerable amount of damage just by identifying an unsecured IoT device. It is always recommended to use VPN connections that can also help you secure your connected IoT devices. Using the right VPN connection can help you protect your entire smart home network by keeping your IP private and confidential.
We all know that the Internet of Things is growing rapidly. According to a Gartner forecast, the number of connected things in use will go up to 25 Billion by 2021. However, there are numerous security and privacy risks that pose some serious threat issues. Any connected device sharing a wireless network can be considered carrying a risk of a security breach. Along with a great level of connectivity, there are always some major drawbacks that every consumer needs to be aware of.
Also Read about: IoT Security – A Glaring Concern
“As per research by Gartner, spending on IoT security is expected to reach $3.1 Billion in 2021.”
Here are a few essential precautionary tips that can be taken by consumers to minimize the security risks and make your smart home a healthy place for all connected IoT devices:
- Many people still do not know that they can set passwords for IoT devices. It is highly recommended to all the consumers to change the default password on every connected device. To create a strong password, prefer using a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters, numbers or symbols.
- Do not connect each and every device until it is really necessary. Take a good look at the features of your smart devices, read the terms and conditions regarding the utilization and learn what Internet connectivity can bring to the network.
- Creating a separate network can help you secure your IoT devices. It is always necessary to have a guest network and a personal network.
- Always make sure to update the software on all your connected devices. Manufacturers of these devices release new patches for the latest vulnerabilities, so it is the best way to protect your IoT devices. It is advisable to check and install IoT firmware updates on a regular basis.
If you are concerned about your privacy, then these practices can help you secure your IoT devices. These are the basic security tips that can be taken as precautionary measures to prevent a variety of IoT threats or attacks.