How to secure IoT devices?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing exponentially, and there are currently over fourteen billion devices connected to the internet. Gartner predicts that number will reach fifty billion by 2020. With this many connected devices, security is becoming an increasing concern for consumers, businesses, and governments alike. The IoT represents an enormous attack surface, so how do we go about securing it?

How to secure IoT devices?

What is an IoT device?

Internet of things (IoT) devices are smart devices that connect to a network and can work autonomously. Most, if not all, IoT devices operate with the goal of making life easier. For example, smartphones and tablets fall into this category as they allow users to do everything from shopping online for groceries to checking their email on the go. But how does security fit in? The vast majority of people don’t think about how easy it is for hackers to find their way into personal information stored on these types of devices.

Why are they vulnerable to cyberattacks?

As with any piece of technology or hardware, there will be holes in how it is protected against potential threats. Hackers know how to exploit these holes in order to get into your device. The most common types of cyberattacks are social engineering, viruses/malware and phishing scams.

The different types of vulnerabilities for IoT devices.

The following are the different types of vulnerabilities that an IoT device may have:

  • Weak password : Many devices have a default password set up during its initial setup, so if you don’t change it within the first few days or weeks, you could be at risk since many hackers use dictionary attacks to guess the password.
  • Insufficient security protocols : Some companies may not include security measures on their products because they assume people will just upgrade to the latest firmware when available. However, this how hackers get into your system by exploiting those vulnerabilities.
  • Unencrypted login information : If you log in to your device with unencrypted information, such as a password or email address, this makes it very easy for hackers to find out how they can access your personal data. This is because the login information will be stored as plain text and can be read by anyone who puts some effort into finding it.

How to protect your IoT devices from cyberattacks?

The following are some recommendations on how to protect your IoT devices:

  • Change your default passwords during setup and frequently change them after that too
  • Only use secure websites when purchasing products from the internet (look for ‘https’ at the start of the URL) or signing up for services online
  • Make sure that the latest firmware is automatically updated on your device
  • If you’re not sure how secure a device is, check online for any vulnerabilities reported by other people and see how the company responded to these issues

Tips for securing your home network and internet connection against threats.

Internet security starts with a strong password . To make a strong password, use a unique mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Lock down your router . Make sure you have password protection enabled on your home router so only people who know the password can get onto the network.

Update routers’ firmware . Make sure that automatic updates are turned on so that when new firmware becomes available it downloads to router without any interruptions.

Create a guest WiFi network . If you share your entire home internet connection with visitors, give them their own private, isolated connection that doesn’t have access to the rest of your network.

Use HTTPS . When you’re on websites that use HTTPS (when you see ‘https’ before the URL), keep in mind that this is encrypted communication. This means information sent between your browser and website is secure against prying eyes.

Turn on two-factor authentication whenever possible . Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security since it requires people to provide more than just a password when trying to log in. For example, some examples of how companies implement two-factor authentication are by requiring users to input a number send via text or adding an additional step in the login process.

Update your software . There are always bugs that need to be fixed in the world of security, so make sure your devices are running the latest versions of their respective softwares to patch up these vulnerabilities. Give every device a unique password . If you have to use multiple passwords, make them long and complex for better protection!

How to secure iot devices?

IoT devices can pose serious security risks since they contain countless types of personal data that could lead to identity theft or financial fraud if it falls into the wrong hands. For example, there was a case where hackers were able to break into an IE home thermostat because its weak login credentials weren’t changed when it was upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7.

The following are some recommendations on how to protect yourself:

  • Change your default passwords during setup and frequently change them after that too
  • Only use secure websites when purchasing products from the internet (look for ‘https’ at the start of the URL) or signing up for services online
  • Make sure that the latest firmware is automatically updated on your device
  • If you’re not sure how secure a device is, check online for any vulnerabilities reported by other people and see how the company responded to these issues

How to protect your iot sensors?

Use encrypted connections . Ensuring all data is sent securely with SSL encryption, HTTPS if possible, will ensure malicious third parties intercept requests made to sensor data, which will not reveal any sensitive information.

Use authentication to protect access . Authentication is how you can limit who has access to your sensor data based on how they are identified within the request. For example, if all requests have an identifier that only authorized users know, this identifier must be present in every single request made to the server running the web service for it to operate as usual. This simple step can prevent cybercriminals from gaining unauthorized access

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