IoT (Internet of Things) technology is the talk right now in every major IT company around the world. But the state of its security has been the topmost concern among the technology gurus and beginning startups in this sector. With such fresh examples like the “WannaCry” DDoS attack, which has affected more than 250, 000 connected devices globally, the efforts to evaluate and work on fixing security loopholes found in the IoT networks and hardware devices got serious pace. The “WannaCry” case was not the only one in the recent times, but there is an assortment of cyber-attacks happened in the recent years that has opened our eyes to the potential dangers such onslaughts can cause. So, for all those who are concerned, here are the top 7 most dreaded IoT security dodges that could prove costly.
The “Smart” Home Security
Smart Homes industry is predicted to worth around $121.73 billion by the year 2022. With this growth rate comes a big responsibility of providing secure and reliable protocols for all connected IoT devices as well. A smart home is a completely internet-controlled living domain which, if defunctionalized, can not only cause domestic chaos but it can put the lives of the persons living in that home in danger as well. Therefore, to all those IoT solutions providers whose targeted market is the homeowners, they should set up and follow a high-class standard of security in their IoT infrastructure. The security protocols should safeguard not only the externally connected devices but the internal ones in the smart home as well.
The Medical Concern
The second biggest industry which is expected to be highly affected by the growing IoT industry is the medical, or health care, industry. There are a growing number of medical devices controlled and operated via IoT technology in these times, and much more will adapt to this technology in the near future (around a worth of approx. $117 billion). Given such a scenario, an unethical cyber-attack on a series of connected medical devices (whether in one or numerous hospitals around the world) could produce such horrible results that we cannot even imagine in our wildest imaginations.
For example, if a series of connected electrocardiography machines (heart monitoring machines) are compromised in any way, it can highly endanger the lives of all monitored patients. “Providing top class security essentials with healthcare IoT solutions is a big and complex challenge for all healthcare IoT providers which they must need to address, and as soon as possible to stay useful and relevant,” cautions Clovis Lacerda, Founder of Parlacom Brazil, an IoT/M2M solution provider in South America.
DVRs (Digital Video Recorders)
A common user might not be able to think that deep as to how come a DVR can cause chaos (even on a global scale)? Well, in the truest sense it can now, especially in these days of IoT. On Oct 21, 2016, United States of America suffered one of the most major internet service outage in the country’s IT history, an attack which was propagated with the help of a massive number of hacked CCTV cameras and DVRs across America.
This event alerted the DVR manufacturers and service providers and promoted the concern for developing a tough and resilient security protocol along with these fragile connected IoT devices. Obviously, the reliance on digital technology will further grow the usage of such devices, and with them, the need for tougher security essentials as well.
The Extremely Fragile & Important: Baby Monitors
Imagine a device which actually acts as a half-admin to your tiny baby while you are away in the other part of the house doing some work? Can you imagine the intensity of harm that possibly could happen in the case the device is being hacked by an unethical enemy? This is why a Baby Monitor (which is a web-connected device and managed by cloud services) must need be highly secure and have a concrete security protocol to protect itself against a genuine malice. Considering the danger and imminent need of a concrete security plan, a private US security company Rapid7 conducted a study on the current status of security in IoT sector (especially devices like Baby Monitors). You should check the report as it is very insightful for an IoT provider.
This is another area where the need for some concrete security rules in order to protect IoT devices, and along with it the whole functioning industries/plants is preeminent. The target here is exclusively the administrative machines which controls various types of functions that covers numerous important functionalities, whether in regards to domestic industrial operations or a plant that provides vital services to, say, a whole “Smart City”.
Administrative machines are run and managed by chips and sensors, which in turn controlled and managed by web-based networking from a central commanding unit. Securing these is a complex, but a must task indeed. A 35-page SlideShare presentation created by Meetup9 on IoT and sensors security in 2016 could be the report you should view once on this issue.
The Network Router
The network routers, or routers for short, is the central device which multiplies and transfer network-based connectivity from one point to several devices in a home or office. Despite being invented in the 80s, the device still holds an undisputed place in network transferring in many homes and offices around the world, a fact which also makes it very vulnerable. According to an article published in CSO, it has termed network routers as the weakest link in the current IT world.
This vulnerability leaves network routers open to unethical hackers who may easily get access to the all of the connected devices via a router in your home and office. “Considering the situation of network-based routers, we need to understand that the compatibility between an old firmware and the new IoT technology requires much greater work on security than anything else,” forewarns Mr. Lacerda of Parlacom Brazil.
SCADA System Attack
The final on our list of 7 most dreaded IoT security loopholes is perhaps the greatest of all: The SCADA system attack. The abbreviation itself is quite threatening of “SCADA”: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems. SCADA systems were not always connected to the web-based network, but with IoT going mainstream, most of the systems in SCADA model are now connected to a network and this requires a thorough security analysis for them moving onwards.
Especially considering the fact that SCADA systems control and obtain a huge amount of data (and data could be related to anything and or any person) security becomes the topmost concern for these connected devices as well. So, keep a lookout on what is to come further in the IoT industry as technologists are already busy in crafting that mammoth “magic” security protocols for the growing IoT industry. We hope that all those hard efforts will pay off soon for the benefit of all mankind.