How do I Ensure a Robust IoT Security?
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Previously, we touched upon what the internet of things is and how it revamps the whole world. Its key advantages may change everything as you know it today. The major aspect of IoT is the billions of new devices or “things” that will become part of our worldwide wireless network, and the relentless stream of data that these devices bring to the storage infrastructure extant today. Along with this transformation, a critical question arises: “How can you ensure the security in this IoT world?”
Security risks come in all forms. For instance, in 2011, independent security analyst blog Krebs on Security spoke about a new type of data hijacking coming to prevalence, known as juice-jacking. This attack targets your smartphone’s data if you hook your device into one of those public charging stations in airports and metro stations. You have probably seen plenty of examples of software-run cars being hijacked by hackers and viruses and used to put the owners in danger. We have seen similar terror in Hollywood techno-thrillers, such as The Net, Eagle Eye, Antitrust, Firewall, etc.
Weak IoT security can make the world seem like it’s under alien attack. This is because IoT connects everything, from your microwave and coffee machine to your garage door to a network, and allows you to remotely operate these devices. You don’t want someone else remotely operating your lights, thermostat, or your car, do you? That will surely be pretty weird.
However strong a security system is, it has been proven time and again that it can be broken if a persistent hacker is able to find its Achilles’ heel. As the security systems became more and more advanced, so did the hacking techniques. This is why Edward Snowden used a relatively unknown high-security operating system called Tails, and terrorists like Bin Laden still trusted offline messaging to communicate. With botnets consisting of millions of computers and cloud systems with unlimited processing power, it is easy to hack into any network, even government ones.
In the case of IoT, so many statistics exist. Several prognosticators in the IT domain have estimated the size of IoT-connected devices to be in the range of 20-50 billion devices. Hacking figures are not very promising, either. It seems in 2014, almost half of the population of the United States using computers have been hacked in one way or other. If the number of devices goes on increasing, the hacking attempts will also rise relentlessly.
Remote network management of huge number of devices is already a challenging area. With the advent of IoT, several industries will have to be network-connected, from retail, manufacturing, to healthcare.
As a new wave of network-aware, smart devices are coming into the world, it is high time for security organizations to revamp their security systems. As we are already struggling with high volume of devices connected to far-reaching networks, a lot of research and development is necessary for securing IoT in a big way.
In view of this, here is 5 security steps procedure from MSys – A leading IoT solutions and services provider that a consumer should ensure.
- Learn about the device sensors you have. For instance, if you have an advanced smartphone, it has a camera, GPS system, accelerometer, compass, barometer, temperature sensor, and many other such advanced features. You should be aware of these advanced features at the time of getting your device. This will give you an idea of what should be allowed to an application and what should not. Both iOS and Android let you decide which features of your device can be accessed by an app.
- Learn about the data access and communication capabilities of your devices. How are they communicating, and what speed is achievable by the device at any point of time. This will let you identify if the device is operating normally or if it’s transmitting any unnecessary amount of data.
- Take advantage of all security features available in your devices. Every smartphone comes with built-in security features, such as the thumb-print access in the iPhone. Learn about and make use of all these security features to be extra-safe.
- Take advantage of all network security features given by your network. Most of the routers available today let you have advanced security features such as WPA2 encryption and MAC address filtering. Take advantage of these features to be sure that your connection is always secure.
- A major part of the security, and one that can actually weaken your entire security if you are not careful enough is the password. A strong password is like an impossible barrier for hackers. A weak password, such as “password1” can easily open your doorway to hackers at any time. Make your passwords long and riddled with special characters.
IoT, while it makes the world a better place, comes with a lot of concerns. Securing IoT devices will become a huge industry in itself tomorrow. Only proper consumer awareness can help fight hackers in such a massively interconnected world. There are numerous IoT development services and IoT services provider that can help navigate the security risks.