The introduction of the Internet of Things has enhanced the connected world, as it promises many industrial benefits such as optimized resource utilization, automated services, and machine-to-machine technology. However, the risks factors for using such technology are massive and robust security solution has become more important than ever.
Everyone is familiar with the DDoS outbreak on Dyn which took place last years and the casualties resulted by the attack. Before a decade, DDoS attacks were caused by a large number of botnets often generated by massive workstations. Today, we have better security protocols and operating systems, yet we are threatened by a plethora of cyber threats.
Millions of IoT devices have an unsecured connection on unmonitored networks, making them vulnerable to botnet attacks. IoT botnets are a major cause of DDoS attacks, and they can cause severe impact on businesses. For instance, there were 11,600 cyber-attacks launched by Mirai Botnets within three months period from November 2016 to February 2017.
How to Prevent such Risks?
DDoS is just one of the many ways to hack into an IoT system. And, as the number of exploitable devices is increasing every day, how can we address such risks?
First and foremost, we must understand how hackers use similar devices against the users. Before prolonging towards an advanced solution, users must make few necessary changes including password and disable impracticable default services. And businesses must install telemetry to the network where the IoT devices are connected, to detect any suspicious behaviors.
If the solutions mentioned above don’t help, you can also seek assistance from ISPs and content delivery networks. Such service providers are becoming more agile to secure our IoT devices by effectively countering cyber-exploits and securing vulnerable areas. Using a service like this will definitely elevate the security measure, but your IoT system will be open to the service provider. Though, there are dozens of advantages there is also a risk factor.
What Must We Do?
Before purchasing any IoT devices, we must consider security as the primary buying criterion. Most IoT devices are purchased on the basis of functionality, which directly makes security a secondary feature. This must change. We should check the vendor’s track record and check whether the products were vulnerable to external attacks. And if yes, what procedures has the vendor taken to fix the bugs.
If security becomes a primary buying concern then the manufactures will be bound to integrate robust security protocols in their products. Users can also check the proposed security measures by Thread Group and Open Connectivity Foundation. This will ease the hassles and enable users to make informed purchase decisions.
Undoubtedly, IoT is enabling technology like never before. As everything is being encompassed by the spectrum of IoT, security is the primary element that bot IoT device manufacturers and users should consider.