5 Cybersecurity Threats IoT Devices Pose To Businesses
It is estimated that by 2023, CIOs will be in charge of three times as many endpoints as they were in 2018. Why? Because of the continued proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) trends and technologies.
As more and more devices are incorporated into business networks day by day, those in charge of those networks face an increasingly daunting task: trying to keep it all secure. Given the high volume of data these devices deal with, and the additional endpoints they represent, security is a key concern. The more components there are in a network, the greater potential it has to be breached.
Consider the following:
- About 60% of IoT devices are vulnerable to medium- or high-severity attacks.
- Over 95% of all IoT device traffic is unencrypted.
- About 72% of organizations experienced an increase in endpoint and IoT security incidents last year and 56% of organizations expect to be compromised via an endpoint or IoT-originated attack within the next 12 months.
The frustrating truth is that proper IoT security means more than simply securing your IoT devices. It requires a multi-faceted approach to securing access as well. In a nutshell, IoT security is just one part of network security.
Before we explore what that means in detail, let’s cover the ways that IoT devices can be exploited.
Common Methods For Breaching IoT Devices
There are three ways cybercriminals compromise IoT devices:
- Device Vulnerabilities: Most directly, cybercriminals will exploit IoT devices through vulnerabilities in their firmware, memory, interfaces, or configuration.
- Communication Vectors: These types of devices can also be compromised by targeting the channels through which they communicate with other similar devices.
- Associated Vulnerabilities: Cybercriminals can also target web applications and related software for IoT devices, and exploit inherent vulnerabilities found there.
Five Common IoT Vulnerabilities To Check For
Ensuring your business can use IoT devices safely means checking for known vulnerabilities. To start, consider the following five potential exploits present in your business’ IoT devices:
- Extensive And Unauthorized Data Collection: IoT devices can be configured to collect enormous amounts of very specific data about environments and users. Some may even store and share this data without your explicit permission. That’s why you need to make sure the data is secured the same way any other sensitive data in your business’ network would be.
- Open Access For Cybercriminals: Unsecured IoT devices can present an open endpoint, providing entry into your network for cybercriminals. Make sure to double-check that all devices are closed and password protected.
- Limited Security Policies: Don’t assume a “one size fits all” security policy will be effective for all IoT devices. They’re simply too complex to fit a single policy. This is especially true if your business engages in remote work — a combination of home and business networks adds complexity. As such, your policies need to be appropriately complex and detailed as well.
- Lack Of IoT Security Awareness: Your cybersecurity is only as strong as your weakest link, and more likely than not, that weak link is a staff member. If your team doesn’t know how to use IoT devices in a secure manner, they’re putting your business at risk. Make sure your cybersecurity training curriculum includes your IoT devices.
- Noncompliance Risks: You need to consider how IoT devices affect your compliance posture. Every bit of data clients divulge to your business through an IoT device affects their privacy. If your business is subject to a compliance system like HIPAA or GDPR, you need to ensure your IoT devices aren’t putting you at risk.
IoT Cybersecurity & Compliance
The fact is that there are no universal regulatory requirements or “standards” for the security of IoT devices, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with insufficient security. It will catch up with you eventually, which is why you should be proactive and do something about it now.
Veltec Networks will help you securely strategize and implement IoT devices without compromising your security. Connect with us and learn how your business can take advantage of the IoT, without taking on any extra risks.