Hacks to Protect IoT Devices within Organizations

Hacks to Protect IoT Devices within Organizations

Are you a CISO, IT manager or even a third party? Does IT support provider in charge of securing a corporate network? Whether you are worried about the impact of the growing IoT or convinced your organization is safe from threat, we recommend you read through this article to ensure you have taken all necessary steps to assess and mitigate your risk.

Let’s start by looking at the scale and the scope of the IoT ‘problem.’

Scoping the Problem

IoT is mostly seen as a good thing for businesses, adding new ways to harness data and using this, often in combination with AI and machine learning, to make processes more efficient all along the supply chain.

However, every new device connected into your corporate network, whether that be a router, heat sensor, camera or even a ‘smart’ coffee machine, expand your attack surface, increasing the chances of a hack or a data leak.

The risks to your organization are compounded by the fact that IoT devices challenge traditional security measures in several ways. For example, they are often:

  • Outside of the company’s monitoring strategy
  • Left unattended and unmanaged (physically and digitally)
  • Impossible to update (the vendors may never update the firmware or software)
  • Difficult to update (those that are updatable may lack a UI)
  • Not powerful enough to run antivirus or other security software
  • Shipped with default passwords
  • Unsupported by the vendor

Concerns about hacking aren’t unfounded either. In 2018, a Ponemon Institute survey found that 21% – that’s over a fifth – of companies surveyed had suffered a data breach or cyber attack specifically due to unsecured IoT devices. This figure was up from 16% the previous year.

Now that it should be plain to see what the danger is, let’s turn to the six solutions that you can start implementing immediately.

Solution 1: Take an inventory and run an impact report

You can’t see what you don’t know is there.

That may seem an obvious point, but many organizations fail to take stock of connected devices because they cannot configure or update them. These devices then become part of your ‘shadow IT’ and could even develop into a system within a system.

The first step in accessing these blind spots is to take an inventory and define the absolute boundary of your corporate network. Next, assess each IoT device to uncover what type of data it generates and processes and which corporate networks it connects into. This will help you to create an impact report for each device.

Solution 2: Use network management tools and include all devices

You may not be able to configure or update a machine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t monitor it. You may find that existing network management tools are sufficient to track the signals generated by these assets or you may choose to upgrade your software or use managed security IT services to improve this capability. A good IT consulting firm will be able to talk through different vendor options with you.

Ideally, you should be able to monitor each IoT device in real time and also have the signals it generates processed by a smart system which can recognize its fingerprint and alert you to any anomalies.

By tracking IoT devices in this way, including employee BYO (bring your own) IoT devices, you can also detect and remove any unauthorized devices.

Solution 3: Create a software update management policy

Any devices which can be updated should be added to a company software update management policy. Entries for each device should include who bears responsibility for applying firmware and software updates, how updates will be applied (manually or automatically), how they will be checked and vendor support details. Where devices have a limited support period, plans should be made to upgrade the device once support ends.

Ideally, all IoT devices will be updatable. If you must use a device which can’t be updated, it is particularly important to monitor signals from it to ensure it doesn’t become a weak link into your business’s core systems.

Solution 4: Use Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Most security breaches happen because of human error. To reduce the risk of a catastrophic breach, all employees should only have access to the systems they need to do their work and permissions to perform the tasks they are paid to do. For example, sales reps should probably be unable to access the company’s accounting system while junior members of the accounting team might only be allowed to view and not edit company accounts.

A good IAM system will handle this for you by enabling you to assign individual users to groups and set permissions per group and even per user. Your IAM system should be actively managed with employees moved to different groups when they change roles. When employees leave the company, their user access privileges should be immediately revoked.

Solution 5: Employ User Behavior Analytics (UBA)

In addition to managing user access, you also need to track it. Smart UBA software can monitor user behavior (log-in time, log-in location, systems accessed, tasks carried out, etc.) and use AI-driven pattern recognition to spot any anomalies. So if Jose in accounts usually checks the company accounts once a week on a Friday afternoon, the software will flag it if he starts logging in from a different state on a Monday night.

At the same time, it is good practice to educate genuine users about how to prioritize security when working with devices. They may not understand why it is important to set a password for a new printer, for example as they may be used to printers being harmless one-task devices rather than a potential back door into your corporate IT network. You could even ask them to call in ahead of time if they plan to use devices at unusual times or locations so that your IoT management team can discount the UBA monitoring alerts.

Solution 6: Prioritize IoT Security From the Top Down

Finally, the best way to ensure your IoT devices (and your corporate network) have maximum protection is to ensure everyone, from the CEO down to the front line workers, are made aware of the importance of cybersecurity, the specific risks the IoT brings and the part they play.

A simple router hack was enough to deprive PIR bank in Russia of $1 million but IoT devices can also be used for corporate espionage or even to cause damage by hacktivists or rogue nations.

With the number of IoT devices expected to reach and surpass 10 billion in the next couple of years and over 80% of companies expecting their IoT to be breached during this time, we think it is high time all CISOs acted to properly secure their assets. If they don’t, their reputation and future employability could be on the line as they will be held responsible for any slip-ups.

If this is something that concerns you? The best solution is to take proactive measures to secure your IoT connected devices. Taking the six solutions above will put you in a powerful position to mitigate the upcoming risks while enjoying all the benefits that the IoT will surely bring.

What is the Future of IoT or Internet of Things in next 5 years?

What is the Future of IoT or Internet of Things in next 5 years?

IoT or internet of thing these days we quite often listen to this word. The words such as the cyber attack, hacking we can hear these too jointly with IoT. Despite, of the fear of piracy and cyberattack the internet of things and IoT applications will grow much more faster in the coming years. Ultimately we can say the IoT future scope or the future of IoT is very bright.

As we all know a connection precipitates another connection. Earlier in the 19th century, only 4% of the people present worldwide knew about the Internet that is when the Internet of Things concept came to light. But, realize it became like no one in the earth doesn’t know about the Internet of Things.

It is a known fact that in the future:

The planet earth will have the Internet as its skin in the coming century. This means people will use the Internet as a major thing which will support the life and transmit the sensation. Even it can be said that the skin is coming together to form an external layer upon the whole world.

What is IoT?

Internet of things

IoT or Internet of Things is primarily a full system of all the interconnected computing devices, having all the mechanical and digital machines. When the objects or the living beings will have the UIDs or the Unique Identification, Iot and IoT application can transfer the data automatically without including the human to human interaction and human to computer interaction in between.

The Internet Of Things or IoT objects can be anything like an artificial heart in a human or a biochip transponder in the farm animals or the automobile containing the sensors. All these things are essential for human survival. As the organizations are increasing so as the need of the organization that can make the work go easier in an efficient way.

How many IoT devices are there today?

According, to Gartner :

In the year 2017 there were 8.4 billion IoT connected devices in the whole worldwide. While in the year 2018 it increased to 9.2 Billion. It is expected that in the year 2020 the IoT connected devices in the worldwide would be 20.8 Billion.

The hard to secure smart things which have the installed base this includes items such as TV, refrigerators and the security cameras. We can expect that there will be a 31% increase in the IoT application and IoT connected devices this year. While this can also reach 10 Billion or more which is more than the world population.

IoT benefits

The surveys even say that the total number of connected devices such as smart T.V, vehicles, and the digital set up box. This will grow till 12 to 13 billion in the year 2019. This is where the deployment will start when the organizations start looking for the cross-industry devices that include HVAC systems, LED lightings and Physical security systems.

How is IoT useful?

IoT is very useful because it makes our work easy and is very less time-consuming. Lets, take in to account the smartphones we use, has made our lives so easy and our a lot of work can be done in just fingertips.

IoT has easied the lives of humans. Imagine a hospital connected with all the smart devices. All the data collected from the device stores the information of the patients and then runs the analytics on various machine whichever the doctor or the authority want to check. Makes life so easy and sorted making the hospital run optimally as possible.

This clearly shows the seriousness, and how important IoT has become these days.

Are IoT devices secure?

A fundamental and crucial question that everyone gets in their mind Are all the IoT devices we are using is safe and secure? But people still now didn’t find a good deal for securing the Internet of Things devices.

Cisco one of the biggest networking company told the Global IoT device supply chain that it requires the most powerful and higher vigilance regarding the quality control. Due to the lack of proper rules, regulations and IoT security standards because of which the IoT and IoT application hacks became quite usual and dangerous.

The IoT devices security is in the hand of its manufacturer’s hand. A manufacturer should make sure that all the Internet of Things devices should be safe and secure to use. Safety is the thing that most of the business miss. According to the surveys:

Only 30% out of the 1000 respondent companies told that they take up certain measures to secure all the Mobile Application and the IoT devices. At the same time, the rest of the IoT device markers are not building any security outset.

We can even take a lot of instances such as cloud-based website like Netflix, Spotify and Reddit suddenly became unavailable on October 2016. The attack happened when the unknown or the malicious hackers started gaining control over the IoT based application such as the CCTV cameras, digital video recorders.

With these type of instances, we can say that our data and the IoT devices are not that secure how much it should be.

How many IoT devices will there be in 2020?

We can say one thing for sure the number of IoT or the Internet of Things devices will outnumber the total population of the earth. While we can even say that the Internet of Things or IoT is something which is increasing tremendously in an unexpected way.

In the below graphical representation of the Statista, we can see the increased used of the Internet of Things or IoT connected devices from 2015 to 2025.

future of IoT

According to the graph, we can say the usage or IoT devices will be 30 billion and above. This is four times more than the total population which is just 7.7 Billion.

All the companies whose primary works are on IoT, cloud computing such as the Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS. All these companies saw a tremendous increase in their sales and the revenue generation and exceeded all the targets set by them. So, we can see significant progress in the IoT security devices. As the purchase and sales of the Internet of things connected devices will increase and touch the peak instead of getting down. On the same side, the revenue of the companies is going to feel the skies.

What are the challenges in IoT?

It is challenging to differentiate and know about the manifestation in IoT. Foremost, the thing that comes up in everybody’s day to day life is Mobile phones, and the critical application that everyone uses is the Video call or Video recorder. If you are in Venice, you can take a look at your kids or pets in New York.

Here, comes the but do you have a firewall in your home to protect your device from getting attacked or hacked? Because there are a lot of chances that your personal information and the data can get exposed to hackers or malicious users.

Even if we have this threat, we can see there is an increased amount of IoT devices. People still search the online platform and offline platform both to get more good and advanced technological devices coming up. We can at the end say that we are experiencing hyper growth of the IoT devices.

Iot application

In 2020 we can say that tons and tons more Internet Of Things connected devices are on the way. At times it is believed that the topmost Internet providers such as the Verizon’s, The AT&Ts are not yet ready for providing the fiber connectivity. This is all because the infrastructure is sufficient enough to support it.

Challenges in IoT

If we go on an talk about the driverless car, This device gathers a certain amount of data which is enormous and incredible. The first one here is the Petabytes data. Which requires regular processing and transferring of the data through the network to the central most platform that will give the right decision. This thing directly indicates that this technology is not yet ready and secure.

We can get assured that we will get there and all the challenges in the Internet of Things will be solved. Yes, the technology and security in the network data perspective have increased. A lot now the companies have become more than just developing the technology. But, also check the security and safety of the people.

In the year 2018, there were a lot of data breaches the major companies like a Facebook data breach, Google data breach, some of the airways and hotels have seen a significant data breach. So the companies became more alert about all these, and we can expect that security is the primary thing that companies will take care of.

What is the future scope of IoT?

The future of IoT or where and what advancements that we can see in the IoT future or after 25 years. You can see the top five themes that can be seen in the future of IoT is listed below take a look at it:

People will get addicted to Tech connections

The surveys suggest that the usage of the IoT based devices will increase vastly. It will influence the people over this and the coming decade. There will be some of the magical things that will make the people addictive to the devices and people can’t resist to leave it. The convenience and the benefits will keep the people attracted to the devices.

In the future, we can even expect that people will choose the connectivity over security. As connecting with society, friends and new technology with convenience will become more critical. People will even start keeping all their information data of themselves and their families in these devices, and they start trading the safety and security for the convenience. The users will begin making all the rational decision in a stake of their security and safety.

The kids, adults everyone will get addicted, and the house will become a big IoT device. While human beings will not be able to cope without all these.

Say no to Unplugging!

Unplugging to the internet these days is very difficult by the end of 2025 there will be no term as such as Unplugging. There will be threat alert, distrust and all still people will not be able to disconnect with an online platform or the digital platform. People will become dependent on the internet.

The surveys even say that:

Businesses will start penalizing the employees in the company who are connected in the internet or those who disconnect. Remaining active in the digital media and the social media will gain reward. However, the full withdrawal will be very difficult and can be impossible.

We can also hear the stories where it would you can see things like people tried to disconnect but failed to do so. While you will not be to able to detached yourself with all these devices. As you will be surrounded by all these things and won’t able to avoid it. People will have the illusion of being detached, and it will not be true.

Increase in Internet participants

There will be people who will try to disconnect to the digital media and Social media. Eventually, as soon as they try to divide double the people will come and join the Internet platform. It just doubles up but can never go down. The smart TVs, Smartphones, voice searches will become an essential requirement.

IoT uses

Even the disconnection here means those users are searching for a better option to connect again. Ultimately, it means the users always doubles up instead of decreasing.

Risk mitigation and Human ability will make IoT safer

The ingenuity of human beings will make them genuine users, in the same way, the risk mitigation will decrease. The Internet of Things will become more reliable for users.

However, the race for genuine and security will be high and in need but it is assured that security level will increase a lot and will deliver the best results.

All the networked devices will become reliable as the Power grid and make the platform safe from the wrong actions. However, at points occasionally it will go out- and that will be a disaster because people will, of course, survive it. There will get a lot of regulatory and technology-based advancements that will act as the remedies and will decrease all the threats.

As the citizens in the countries and people in the whole world will become much more aware of the Security and safety in the internet platform. This thing will increase pressure in the Government if something goes wrong. It will automatically make the companies take a pressure and make everything safe for the users.

A rapid increase in IoT: Increase in risk

Whether the people are connected or not but the chance will stay, with the massive increase in the IoT devices usage. This may lead to security and liberty issues getting magnified by the IoT devices.

IoT safety

The Threats can turn into gruesome attacks and all the other acts which can be very violent. The physical attacks are in the public and people can watch it. However in the cyber attacks will be in private and you will not know who is the attacker but the results are terrible.

With the rise of the IoT and the security, the concern will increase so as the liberties by the users. You can say this will help to know where you are walking and light your way or can grab your sensitive and personal information. It will become the biggest challenge for the cops, government and the whole world.

How will IoT be used in the future?

The future will see only IoT everywhere, it will like without an artificial intelligence use lives would be incomplete.

Increased DDoS attack

Cybercrimes will increase and there will be extensive use of IoT devices to facilitate the DDoS Attack. In the year 2016, the world was introduced with an Internet of Things malware- a strain of malicious malware that can easily infect the already connected campaigns like DVRs, security cameras and more. This malware got access to the devices with the default password and usernames.

Later, the malware turned the affected device into a botnet to facilitate the Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attack. This usually aims to overwhelm the website with internet traffic.

Reign of Smart Cities

The consumers won’t be the only one using the smart devices, while the whole city and the country will become smart. It will give the ultimate birth to smart cities. Everyone will adapt these techniques to become smart in technologies and save time and energy.

In the end, cities will be able to automate, remotely manage, and collect data through visitor kiosk, video camera surveillance, automobile rentals.

 Artificial Intelligence will be big

Artificial Intelligence will penetrate into every house, starting from smart home hubs to the lighting system, thermostats everything, will have AI. When you will be allowing the voice control device to set up the daily tasks, you will allow them to your personal space.

CONCLUSION

While we come to an end, the IoT or the Internet of Things has made the lives of the human being straightforward and comfortable. It has made the lives of the people very convenient.

Whereas on the other hand with the increased use of the Internet of Things the treat for security and safety has also increase. So we should be careful while providing the details on the Internet platform. However, we can see a lot of necessary steps are being taken but still keeping your data safe with you is essential.

If you want us to add some more advancements that we can see in IoT in the Future, you can write to us. We will update it.