Top IoT Security Tactics to Consider for Your Smart Devices!

Top IoT Security Tactics to Consider for Your Smart Devices!
IoT securities
Security vulnerabilities can cause massive disasters. To cite an example, let’s consider a case study of the Stuxnet worm that was first detected in the year 2010. However, this malicious computer worm had made its first attack in the year 2006, and later in the year 2009, it was executed for a huge operation. In 2009, this worm was used like a cyber-weapon for targeting several data acquisition and control systems and destructing the machinery in nuclear systems. This IoT attack proved enormously catastrophic.
Here are a few more scenarios where cyber-criminals can attempt and have attempted in the past, to enter IoT systems through innocuous devices:
  • Hackers can control cameras on laptops, webcams, baby monitors, etc. to peep into the personal space of the users.
  • When people share information like bank account details or passwords with digital assistants like Siri, Mycroft, or Amazon Echo, this information can be accessed by cybercriminals.
  • Hackers can make use of your smart devices as bots for delivering computing power for a DDOS attack, password cracking, click fraud, and much more.
  • Cybercriminals can launch a ransomware attack on the smart home IoT systems and make them unusable until a certain amount is paid to them.
These types of attacks can severely damage the entire IoT ecosystem. So, how to prevent the IoT systems from such cyber-attacks? Are there any robust security measures or IoT securities for this? Well, in this blog, we are going to shed light on those measures.
But before we commence, let us take a quick look at the vulnerabilities that can put IoT systems at risk.

Security Vulnerabilities that Put the IoT Systems at Risk

There are some security vulnerabilities that invite crimes and breaches to your IoT systems and thus to your organization. Let us understand those vulnerabilities.
  • Vulnerable interface ecosystem
  • Passwords that are weak, or, hardcoded or easily guessable
  • Devices are not updated with up-to-date mechanisms or the latest software
  • Little or no privacy of the data
  • Insecurity in-network services
  • Lack of physical actions
  • Overlooking the storage and transfer of data
  • Default settings in IoT mobile apps that grant permission to unnecessary apps/services
  • Utilization of unsafe and outdated components

Key IoT Security Measures to Consider for Your Smart Devices and Systems

IoT app development
Choosing a Device that is Secure by Design
Make sure that the IoT device you buy is secure by design. Look into the design details of the device prior to its purchase. If adequate design details are not available for any device, then rethink buying the device. Also, ensure that the device manufacturer will be providing timely updates and patches for the lifetime of the device. It will also help the device to remain updated with the latest trends in the market.
Monitoring the Network and the Connected Devices
The IoT devices become vulnerable to threats, the moment they are connected to the internet. It is essential to keep track of all the devices and the network, but this becomes a tough job when more and more devices are connected to it. However, to ensure the security of the IoT systems, one must keep a record of the devices, network, and also the type of data these devices can access. Furthermore, if the system consists of IoT mobile apps featuring social sharing, make sure that the permissions are granted cautiously.
Setting up the Router correctly
Your Wi-Fi router can act as a gateway for cybercriminals to enter your IoT network of devices. After all, the router connects the IoT devices with each other to create a robust IoT network. So, securing the IoT system starts with securing the router and setting it up correctly. Here are some tips that companies can follow:
  • Naming the Router
  • Always change the default name of the router because the default name is usually its make and model number. If the hackers get to know these details, they can easily get to know the default login and password and access your IoT network through the router. So, it is essential to change the router name and set a strong name that does not contain any personal identifiers like your name, address, etc.
  • Setting Unique Password
  • Besides the router name, it is essential to change the password of the router to something strong and unique. Create complex passwords using numbers, letters, and special characters. For this, you can use a random password generator and generate a password that is inaccessible.
  • Using Highest Level of Encryption
  • Finally, make sure that your router has a strong encryption method. Do not utilize some network that does not have a reliable encryption protocol or a public network. It is advisable to utilize the latest encryption standards like WPA2 (WPA3 is coming soon to the market) and not the older standards like WEP or WPA.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks and Make Use of Guest Networks
While accessing the IoT network through your smartphone or laptop, always avoid using public Wi-Fi because hackers can easily break into such open networks. Such networks are usually offered in malls, hotels, coffee shops, etc. So, always use a strong and secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) because it provides you an encrypted, private gateway to the internet and halts the hackers from being able to catch your communications.
Moreover, it is a great idea to start using guest networks. This will not provide them access to the main network. As a result, if hackers try to play with one of the IoT devices on the network, they won’t be able to access or control your primary network and will be stuck in the guest network itself.
Setting Super-strong Passwords
Besides the Wi-Fi passwords, there are some other areas too, where you need to set super-strong passwords. For example, when an IoT device asks to create an account and sign-up using a password, make sure you use a strong and unique password that cannot be guessed easily. So, even if one of the devices gets hacked or compromised, other devices on the network remain intact.
But one major headache, in this case, is remembering a lot many passwords for different devices. So, one can utilize a password management tool that stores unlimited passwords, creates new passwords, and also syncs them between different devices.
Changing the Default Device Settings
Most of the IoT devices have some default settings, which are not secure and could cause vulnerabilities. Besides, there are a few devices that do not allow changing these settings and are a threat to the entire IoT network. But wherever possible, one must check and modify the weak credentials, obstructive permissions, intrusive features, open ports, etc.
Installing Firewalls and Similar Solutions
Security gateways can stand as a threat between your IoT network and devices. These possess more memory, processing power, and other functional capabilities than IoT devices.
So, to prevent hackers from playing with your IoT devices and systems, it is advisable to install powerful security solutions like a firewall. It blocks unauthorized traffic over the wire and runs IPS or IDS, which is intrusion prevention or intrusion detection system for scrutinizing the network system. Besides, a firewall comes with features like malware protection, SSL/SSH interception, content filtering, QoS management, etc. which increase the device security to a great extent.
Furthermore, one can also utilize vulnerability scanners for unveiling the security loopholes within the system. You may also make use of a port scanner for identifying the open ports.
Disabling Functionalities that Aren’t Used or Useful
There are several features available in IoT devices that are not used at all. For example, smart speakers have Bluetooth connectivity features and Wi-Fi, too. But mostly, the Bluetooth connectivity feature is not used. So, it should be disabled.
Another example of this is the voice control feature of smart TVs. These days, digital assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, etc. are used and so, the voice control feature of the smart TVs goes unused. So, it is a better idea to turn that feature off. Likewise, several IoT devices have the feature of controlling them from any corner of the world. But, for your smart home, if you are making use of only the Wi-Fi connection in your home, disabling the remote access would be a wise option.
Such entry points that are not used at all must be disabled to protect the devices from being exposed to cybercriminals.
Boosting Consumer Awareness about IoT Securities
Most of the end-users are not aware of the security considerations of the IoT devices and tend to overlook them. So, increasing their awareness is a necessity today. They must be aware of the latest security measures for IoT-related systems. They must also be aware of updating the software apps, default credentials, etc. They must also be aware of dangerous cyber threats that take place and what can be the potential measures.
A Few Other Security Tips
  • Implementing physical security like having biometric passwords, pins, etc. on the device, remotely erasing the related data on smartphones, having automatic or selective backups in place, etc.
  • Enabling multi-factor authentication
  • Keeping all your IoT devices up-to-date
  • Employing a separate Wi-Fi network for your IoT devices
  • Ensuring that universal Plug and Play (UPnP) are off

Final Thoughts

Hackers and cybercriminals can enter the IoT network of various devices through a very harmless device on the network as these devices usually have no or little built-in security. It could be a smart TV, or a gaming console, or a smart lock. Once entered into the systems, these hackers can induce viruses that can easily access sensitive information like daily routines, contact details, financial information, passwords, etc., and misuse it.
Also, the hackers can install malicious software programs like malware causing all the more damage to IoT app solutions and IoT ecosystems altogether. However, if you proactively employ the security best practices during IoT app development or while setting up IoT systems, mentioned in this blog, your IoT systems will become highly secure and they won’t get hacked so easily.
Hope you are now well-equipped with the security best practices that you must employ for protecting your IoT devices and systems.
For any queries related to this, kindly comment below or reach out to us. We have expert IoT professionals who will not only resolve your queries but also help you design customized robust software solutions for IoT systems. We deliver futuristic offshore software services in India in several trending technologies. So, get in touch with us now for further details.

Ground-breaking IoT Trends that will Rule the Market in 2021

Ground-breaking IoT Trends that will Rule the Market in 2021
IoT app trends
The rampant adoption of IoT has been setting new records in the technology world since its inception. IoT’s prominence will continue to flourish for the years to come and in the year 2021, this technology will serve many industries with more data-intensive solutions.
Let’s look at some statistics put forth by International Data Corporation (IDC), as per a post on BusinessWire.
The worldwide spending on IoT will return high growth rates by the year 2021 and attain a CAGR of 11.3%.
The worldwide expenditure on IoT in the year 2022 will cross the $1 trillion mark.
These estimates by IDC experts make it evident that the IoT sector will witness heavy growth in the upcoming years. This sector will also set some ground-breaking trends that will revolutionize the market altogether.
So, in this post, we are going to peek into such pioneering IoT market trends which may prove game-changers for several industrial sectors. We will take a look at how these trends will enhance the IoT app solutions and reshape several businesses.

Top IoT Market Trends that will Disrupt the Tech World in 2021!

 Smart app trends

IoT, Wearable Technology and Healthcare Sector

‘IoT in healthcare’ isn’t a new concept but with the advent of Covid-19, wearable devices and related IoT app solutions are being used more persuasively. Since the year 2020, remote healthcare solutions are being encouraged for regular check-ups, remote patient monitoring, etc. Virtual care is being provided using smart connected devices. Richer data-driven health services will also be delivered in 2021 and in upcoming years.

Hyper-Automation with RPA and Advanced Algorithms

A set of advanced technologies like RPA, advanced algorithms, process mining, smart analytics, etc. with IoT can be used for hyper-automation in organizations. It may sound similar to automation but isn’t the same. Hyper-automation is based on traditional automation processes and allows organizations to automate numerous processes more effectively, intelligently, and proactively.

IoT and Cyber Security

Security threats like cybercrimes, cyber-physical attacks, IoT attacks, ransomware, crypto-jacking, government-sponsored attacks, etc. are on the rise, especially since people have started working remotely.
Vital organization data like personal sensitive information of employees, and clients, banking details, details of citizens on government records, etc. is constantly at risk of being stolen by hackers and cyber-criminals for selling it to black markets. Owing to this, the IoT app developers and security specialists are working on developing robust IoT-enabled security strategies and also on upgrading the IoT apps to reinforce the security firewall.

IoT Combined with AI and ML Capabilities

AI and ML have provided great value to businesses by facilitating automation of mundane tasks, simplification of work, and collecting accurate data. Furthermore, in tough times of the pandemic, these technologies have ensured uninterrupted delivery, supported critical processes for companies and governments, helped in social distancing, and understanding the Covid-19 virus, etc.
In the year 2021, MI and AL, together with IoT will shape the future of human-machine interactions using data-driven insights. They will change the dynamics of the business landscape innovatively.

IoT and Blockchain

IoT security has long been a matter of concern and Blockchain seems to be a potential solution for this. Blockchain consists of strong protections against data tampering. It locks accessibility to IoT devices, and thus, allows compromised devices present in an IoT network to shut down when required.
So in the future, a myriad number of financial enterprises, governmental institutions, small and large businesses, and even the consumers will be decentralized and self-governing. They will leverage Blockchain to secure their IoT products and services.Recently, Hyundai has extended its support to a Blockchain-based start-up designed specifically for the security of IoT devices and IoT-powered software solutions.

Edge Computing

The data of IoT devices were being stored in cloud storage for a long time, but now, the IoT app solution providers, manufacturers, development services, etc. are thinking about the utility of calculating, storing, and analyzing data to the limit. That means, before sending the complete data from IoT devices to the cloud, it will be transmitted first to a local storage device near the IoT device i.e. on the network’s edge.
Later, this local storage device analyses the data, filters it, sorts it, and calculates it to send it either completely or partially to the cloud, ultimately decreasing the traffic on the network and thus, refraining from any bottleneck conditions. This approach is called “edge computing.”
Edge computing is growing exponentially and may overtake cloud computing in the year 2021, owing to the remote work approach. This approach helps in the proper management of large chunks of data sent by every device. It decreases the overall dependency on cloud storage, due to which apps perform faster with reduced latency. It also leads to lower security costs. Today, giants like Dell, HPE, IBM, etc. are working on creating such solutions for edges having cloud-like features.

IoT and SaaS

While addressing the IoT Trends, we can’t ignore SaaS or Sustainable-as-a-Service. Owing to its low-cost entry, the SaaS model is rapidly becoming popular for designing outputs that will make the lives of people better.
Also, it is estimated by some technology enthusiasts that the Internet of Things is aimed to bridge the gap in connecting individuals and organizations to service-based solutions.

IoT-powered Smart Home Devices and Smart Cities

The discovery of IoT-based smart home devices was initially being mocked by many. However today, their popularity is soaring as these devices have become more innovative and intuitive and not only ensures home automation but also enhances home security. Besides, they help energy conservation and save on electricity bills due to the usage of intelligent thermostats, smart lights, etc.
IoT and modernization have led to another noteworthy accomplishment- smart cities. IoT tools and superfast data transfer of 5G will together lead to improved public transportation, smart parking lots, automatic traffic control, higher security, smart infrastructure, better water management, smart waste management, etc. in the future. Thus, IoT will power the building of sustainable cities and probably a greener future.

IoT for Energy and Resource Management

For energy and resource management, it is important to gain vital insights into how resources are being consumed. Smart app solutions play a vital role in collecting such data. Some applications like in-house temperature management, sprinkler control, etc. help in managing power consumption.
Besides, IoT devices and applications can help in lowering energy spending, optimizing asset management, integrating green energy, identify malfunctions in advance for preventing them, minimizing carbon emissions, effectively combat accidents, outages, blackouts, etc.

Wrap-up:

In the year 2021, IoT trends will enhance drastically, owing to the shift in overall work culture and the current economic changes due to the Covid- 19 pandemic. But challenging times always come with some great opportunities too. This is a great opportunity for every IoT app development company to architect best-in-class solutions that benefit different sectors.
Do you have any other trends in the IoT world to share with us? If yes, do share in the comment below.
Also, let us know if this blog was insightful and connect with us for any details on IoT technologies.