Cybersecurity in the Age of the Internet of Things

OT and IT teams are collaborating at a never seen before rate to strengthen organizational network security. This is because of the rise of remote access, automation, and the Internet of Things(IoT). In the IoT landscape, there are specific entry points that can be exploited by attackers. The term ‘digital home invasion’ and its variations are becoming common as bad actors can access devices such as smart plugs, lights, and baby cameras.

 

The hackings occur when the owner’s internet connection is not secure, or there is a weak or common password for the app controlling the devices. The security threats haven’t dwindled the demand for smart home technology. The IoT market is believed to include about 1.3 billion devices by 2022, and the growth rate is forecasted to be 20.8% annually. The increasing demand implies more responsibility on the industry for making secure products and protecting customer information. IoT is an incredible data gathering resource, and in this article, we see how IoT has created a market for a cybersecurity expert today. 

 

Table of Contents

 

  • Age of IoT
  • What is the Risk?
  • How can Cyber Security help?
  • Conclusion

 

The article deals with two emerging technologies- cybersecurity and Internet of Things. For more in-depth knowledge about these, you can check out IoT certification courses and cybersecurity training certification provided by Global Tech Council. 

 

Age of IoT

 

Considering there would be more than 30 billion internet-connected devices by 2020, cybersecurity can be referred to as the focal point of the age of IoT. From physical security to climate control, so many of the systems around us are connected to the Internet. They are managed by complex networks consisting of both IT and OT components. The smart building has its own IoT systems that connect various devices ranging from teleconference systems to personal devices. A device entering the network is subjected to multiple protocols. The protocol dictates what function the device serves in the big picture. For proper networking, many messaging and communication standards are put into place. The level of security of these protocols matters the most. 

 

A protocol can be used as an entry point by the hacker to infiltrate the network and wreak havoc. In such cases, visibility can save the day. It is essential to monitor a network, i.e., routine checks of the devices and connected devices. The threats can be detected quickly as an anomaly, traced back to the device, and knocked out of the system. Based on data and experience, visibility and network monitoring are the first steps in creating the cybersecurity strategy. A skilled cybersecurity professional can stand between you and the world of risk. 

 

What is the Risk?

 

IoT can open up every part of your life to the Internet. Instead of being channeled through a screen, the Internet is monitoring every part of our lives. We have to consider what such access means for personal and digital security. The more the access points, the more is the risk of a hack or breach. Hacking gets cybersecurity in the picture with regards to cutting-edge technologies. To prevent hacking attacks in large groups, it is essential to know about security trends and implement the correct cybersecurity strategies. There is no pattern in attacks against IoT devices. There have been cases where security cameras and Wi-Fi routers with secure passwords were hacked, allowing malware installation and inbound connections. The significant negative impact in these cases was caused due to the bot-net scenario. 

 

It is essential for IoT device manufacturers to protect commands that can damage the equipment. Otherwise, the hacker can wreak havoc by turning in/off compressors and motors beyond a tolerable point, creating a safety risk. This goes for many IoT devices with moving parts such as door locks, pool pumps, a/c compressors, to name a few. Even if IoT controlled blinds/shutters are rapidly, continuously moved- they can be made to overheat or catch fire. 

 

How can Cyber Security help?

 

Cybersecurity has a myriad of applications within IoT. A single attack can bring down a trusted system or a data network. Although IoT has the potential to change our lives incredibly, yet it brings out concerns that require us to be on toes all the time. IoT should be pursued at full strength and with all possible resources. It has created a world where a smartphone can control every aspect of our house, from lighting and AC to TV. It is magnificent but carries a tremendous risk of bringing more access points and vulnerabilities to any environment. Smartphone controllers make it easier for hackers to control those parts of the house that they shouldn’t. The only way to successfully mitigate a potential wrought upon by hackers is to learn about every cybersecurity thing. Cybersecurity training can come handy. A few of the other ways of protecting yourself from hackers’ threats are encrypting file systems, using proper password standards, and using virtual private networks. Here is a list of cybersecurity policies that are deemed useful:

  1. Multi-factor authentication
  2. Wi-Fi Security Audit
  3. Penetration testing
  4. Disabling unnecessary interfaces
  5. Implementing network partitioning

 

A part of good security, of course, is making sure everything stays secure once the contractor walks out the door.

 

Conclusion

 

IoT is an excellent idea, but connecting everything everywhere can have astounding implications. For convenience, device manufacturers must find a balance between continually connecting devices and protecting data packages. Cybersecurity helps in finding this balance in the age of IoT. Prevention of data breaches altogether might not be possible for using a few cybersecurity policies that can turn out to be helpful. If you wish to excel in this field, you are recommended to take up a Cyber Security certification.