What Are The Challenges Of Cybersecurity In IoT?

What Are The Challenges Of Cybersecurity In IoT?

According to a recent study by cybersecurity expert SonicWall, cyber attacks targeting the IoT increased by 30% in 2020. Over the past three years, this trend has become even more pronounced. A real security threat hangs over connected objects, especially with cloud services, which are becoming increasingly rare. And when we know that the future of technology rests on the IoT, it is timely to explore the cybersecurity challenges in the IoT. Here is an overview of our subject in this blog post today.       

IoT And Cybersecurity: What Exactly Is It?         

IoT is the Internet of Things. It refers to a set of interconnected devices that communicate via the internet. For example, personal assistants like Google Home, video surveillance devices, and home automation accessories are part of the IoT. These objects have the role of generating new functionalities to perform specific tasks. Their mode of operation depends on the protocols implemented to ensure interconnection.

Connected objects use WiFi, Bluetooth, Z-ware, or even MQTT as a protocol. These make smartphones with smart cameras and autonomous and intelligent cars possible. You will, therefore, understand that future innovations are based on IoT. This is why many technology specialists are concerned about cyber attacks in the sector.

Cybersecurity then discusses the methods implemented to protect connected objects from computer threats. It refers to all security measures to protect computer systems and information. To be effective, cybersecurity is then dynamic. It adapts to threats and strengthens itself thanks to innovative digital tools. But unfortunately, hackers use the same tools to produce more formidable threats.

IoT And Cybersecurity: What Are Common Cyber-Attacks?

Before even discussing the cybersecurity challenges in the IoT, we must take stock of the cyber attacks to which the sector is exposed. 

Malware Attacks

Malware attacks are widespread these days. They consist of hacking a connected device using malicious software. With malware, cybercriminals can maintain control of a device for a relatively long time, weakening companies’ economies by imposing an absolute dependence on the attacker. 

Corporate cybersecurity has become a contemporary challenge due to the multiplication of malware attacks. Today, more than 15% of businesses are affected by a malware attack per year worldwide. A very high percentage when we know that the IT security systems used by SMEs are 80% similar. 

And 39% of security technology small businesses use is outdated; there is reason for concern. Thousands of businesses can then collapse overnight due to these cyber threats. Moreover, it is proven that more than 60% of businesses victims of a malware attack closed six months later. The idea is to implement a computer security program that adapts to the malware sent by the attacker.

Botnet Attacks 

Botnet attacks are two to three times more dangerous than simple malware attacks. This complex malicious computer program called “zombie bots” is intended to control multiple connected devices remotely. These attacks can act on thousands or even millions of objects simultaneously. Which can paralyze the actions of many companies. Often, botnet attacks can target:

  1. network routers;
  2. computers interconnected to perform a specific task;
  3. web servers;
  4. home automation accessories intended to ensure the security of a house or building;
  5. SmartWatches, etc.

With botnet attacks, the cyber offender can strengthen his attack by updating his malware. You will not be able to distinguish infected devices from unharmed ones, which makes the threat a little more complex. It is, therefore, difficult to sanitize the computer system by isolating infected devices. However, with simple malware, it is possible to locate and remove affected objects.

Brute Force Attacks

In IoT, there are also brute force attacks. These hacking techniques aim to obtain a password or identifier from a computer system to access it. It is a less complex attack than botnets; however, it can be very damaging to businesses. For a good reason, it makes user accounts or customer data vulnerable. Hackers can access it at any time and harm those involved.

Cloud-Related Attacks

By connecting devices via the internet, IoT generates intelligent objects. Their operation and storage can be outsourced to Cloud computing. This allows devices to be more productive and offer better operation. However, cloud-related attacks are becoming essential with the densification of cloud-based technologies. These intend to access confidential data. 

Interception Attacks Or MiM

In IoT, it is possible to be the victim of an interception attack or MiM, i.e., Man-in-the-Middle. This is a hacking system in which the hacker intercepts the communication between two separate connected objects. In this case, the hacker can capture the original message and transmit an erroneous version to the recipient. 

  1. self-driving cars;
  2. smart home appliances;
  3. connected televisions;
  4. connected smartphones;
  5. automatic gates, etc.

Man-in-the-middle attacks can be hazardous in IoT because they can destabilize internal communication in companies. MiM can also expose confidential company-specific information.

Identity Theft And Data Hacking

Identity theft is also one of the most commonly recorded attacks in IoT worldwide. It involves hacking an individual’s personal information to commit fraud or a crime. With interconnected devices, it is now easier for cybercriminals to obtain a person’s data. All it takes is for them to regularly share content about themselves with loved ones or on social networks.

Denial Of Service (DoS) Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks refer to cyber threats that cause a service to become inaccessible from one day to the next. In practice, cybercriminals overload the IoT system by launching several botnets. These trigger the automatic operation of specific devices without their owner’s knowledge of the server. The diversity of connected devices then pushes the service to be interrupted.

In most cases, denial-of-service attacks are not aimed at stealing information. They are generally launched by competing services to discredit your business. Indeed, a computer program that is supposed to be helpful and which is interrupted can be highly annoying to users. They can then quickly turn to the competition to benefit from better service. Your competitors would have succeeded in stealing some customers away from you.

Cybersecurity Issues In IoT

As you have just noticed, attacks in the IoT are multiple and varied. So, what are the challenges of cybersecurity in the IoT?

Cybersecurity Will Reduce Costs Associated With Cyber Threats In IoT

There remains evidence that the cyberattacks above can cost businesses lives. Very often, they will spend a lot to contain and reduce the attack. Significant financial resources can be committed to save connected objects targeted by cybercriminals. Sometimes, the entire reputation of companies is at stake or their productivity.

Which can weaken their performance and, consequently, their turnover. Today, cybersecurity is the only way for companies to avoid financial cataclysms. It must now provide appropriate IT tools to counter cyberattacks. This will help protect networks of connected devices. Better still, cybersecurity solutions are essential to produce more formidable IoTs.

Cybersecurity Will Impact The Acceleration Of Innovations In IoT

Innovations in IoT are essential to continue to make daily tasks easier for humans. Moreover, by 2025, the world will have three times more networked objects than inhabitants. As you will have noticed, despite the risks of cyberattacks, specialists continue to offer very innovative connected devices. GSM networks consistently implement innovative gadgets to make smartphones or tablets more ergonomic. 

But to accelerate this innovation process, cybersecurity remains essential. This is also the only way to motivate start-ups and other giants who strive to create increasingly connected machines. Thanks to the contributions of cybersecurity, these companies will be sure to offer users highly secure devices. They will know how to react to a threat to minimize risks. As you have understood, cybersecurity is essential if technology is to continue its work in the IoT.

What Steps Can Be Taken To Improve Cybersecurity In IoT?

It is now necessary to focus on cybersecurity and IoT issues to establish solid means of prevention. This will help protect against possible cyberattacks. But what practical steps can you take to improve cybersecurity in IoT?

Use Tailor-Made Tools For IT System Security

To limit the risks of cyberattacks, it is necessary to protect computer systems and the information itself. For computer systems, in particular, it is essential to request tailor-made security tools. Their role will be to automatically keep the devices up to date and, above all, to control IT activities. Practically, you will need to think about:

  1. use a powerful, up-to-date antivirus to protect your entire computer system;
  2. establish rigorous policies with your IT specialist regarding the sharing of sensitive data;
  3. install a firewall to serve as a filter between the information circulating within the network of connected objects.

Thanks to these tools, you can ensure minimum security for the connected objects you manage or generate.

Banking On The IoT Of Unique Identity

Unique identity IoT is recommended to counter cyberattacks through interception or brute force attacks. Indeed, this concept gives each connected object a strong and unique IT identity. Thus, interactions with other devices or services will be encrypted and secure. Thanks to this measure, you can also limit malware attacks and identity theft.

Edit Good Security Practices For Connected Objects

It is better to implement reasonable security practices for connected objects to be safe from cyber threats. It is necessary to rely on a robust authentication model to do this. Then you can:

  1. edit an access control system that uses relatively complex passwords or identifiers;
  2. train your staff on good practices inherent to the processing and storage of sensitive information;
  3. implement efficient anomaly detection tools within your network of connected objects;
  4. educate users of your computer system about spam, phishing, and corrupted links so that they avoid them.

Its security measures will always reduce the vulnerability of your network of connected objects. Remember, the cybercriminals behind botnet attacks keep watch to find a flaw in your computer system. But strictly following good security practices will make you almost inaccessible. 

Use Multi-Factor Authentication Or MFA

Multi-factor authentication is also a formidable security tool that will allow you to limit cyber threats. Indeed, MFA offers the possibility of replacing password connections with more secure and faster connections. You can, therefore, access websites and applications via unique and specific Fast Identity online standards.

Users can thus choose to connect with a biometric identification technique. They can also use a FIDO security key in case access to the network is given to a greater or lesser number of users. In some companies, you can rely on USB keys for connection authentication. This is U2F (Universal Second Factory) technology. 

Ultimately, cybersecurity in IoT is essential for continued technological innovation and business sustainability. Effective security solutions must then be put in place to limit the risks of computer attacks. If you know of others, help the community and mention them in the comments.

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