My first association with IoT was in 2016. So we were working on developing an IoT-based solution to monitor blood banks. Security was on the table, but it wasn’t a high priority for many companies back then, as I discovered in my interactions with many IoT experts. Many DDoS attacks and generations of IoT devices later, companies are still struggling to address IoT security concerns. Let’s examine why IoT security remains a huge challenge for businesses and what needs to be done to address it.
What security challenges do IoT devices face?
1. Expanding surface area
Users often represent the most important attack surface area, as they could be the target of a phishing campaign, could inadvertently or willingly share credentials or other sensitive information, or could be easily tricked into taking actions that can lead to to malware deployment. All of these actions could not only compromise data and credentials, but also cause attacks that could be costly and delay production schedules or other goals by days, months, or even years.
Also Read: Why IoT Security Matters for Today’s Networks
The addition of devices also represents an addition of the threat surface area. Additionally, misconfiguration of networks or devices could also lead to gaps in the security architecture.
2. The growing number of IoT devices
The number of IoT devices coming online continues to grow every month. Depending on the data feed you subscribe to, this number can vary by the thousands. With new use cases being added every year, IoT has already made deep inroads into sectors such as agriculture, smart homes, transportation, financial services, and manufacturing. The number of IoT providers has also grown exponentially in recent years. The number of manufacturers of IoT devices has also seen exponential growth with the increase in the number of manufacturers in countries where they were traditionally manufactured, as well as the addition of new manufacturing units in other countries.
With such an increase in the number of devices manufactured, one would have expected that security would receive more attention and that generational security gaps would be addressed with the arrival of new and more efficient IoT devices. However, what we are seeing instead is the detection of new vulnerabilities at all levels in new devices along with generational vulnerabilities that have not been addressed. Such a scenario is creating new opportunities for hackers to exploit.
3. Increase in sophisticated attacks
IoT devices and projects are attracting a lot of attention from APT groups now. The growing integration of IoT in critical infrastructure projects and the use of IoT in financial services and other key sectors could be one of the reasons why APT groups are scanning more and more IoT devices in verticals. According to the Sectrio threat research team, IoT projects saw a 77% increase in cyberattacks in the month of April 2022.
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This was the largest increase in attacks ever recorded. The number of sophisticated attacks saw a 133 percent increase in the same month. Oil and gas and manufacturing were the most targeted sectors.
4. Regulations/Compliance standards
There are many standards that companies can adopt to improve their security. We have collected them for you here. Furthermore, the OneM2M standard also enables IoT applications to discover and interact with IoT devices in various distributed environments based on a common service layer. It also prescribes many other ways to improve IoT security.
While most standards are voluntary, regulators often recommend voluntary adherence to them to mitigate and reduce risks, and this could be one of the reasons why many companies in all industries do not comply with such standards. Some of these standards, when adopted, could improve efficiency and promote network and asset transparency, resulting in higher productivity and return on invested capital.
These are just a few of the reasons why IoT security remains a challenge for businesses. To address these issues, companies will need to expand their overall security measures.
Also Read: The Complete Guide to IoT Security
Here are 7 steps to address critical IoT security challenges:
- Incorporation of security requirements in the procurement process to cover the entire supply chain
- Security requirements should also be tested at the proof of concept level for each project.
- Priority should be given to vulnerability and patch management
- Security audits should be performed frequently and the risk exposure and overall security posture should be analyzed to derive gaps and opportunities for improvement.
- IoT security goals should be published as part of the company’s overall operational security policy at all locations.
- Improve threat hunting with the right threat intelligence and mature practices
- Find a decoy and decoy solution to deflect and study cyberattacks
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*** This is a syndicated blog from Sectrio’s Security Bloggers Network written by Prayukth K V. Read the original post at: https://sectrio.com/how-to-address-iot-security-challenges/