The Internet of Things (IoT) allows unprecedented interconnectivity between networks and devices. But with Gartner forecasting that over 20 billion IoT devices will be in service by 2020, all of which are another potential connection point for hackers to exploit, IoT cyber security poses the biggest challenge in the cyber security arena.
What are IoT devices?
An IoT device has an IP address and can wirelessly transmit data to and from a network. This extends beyond PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets into allowing previously “dumb” technology to gather and relay data. IoT CCTV cameras and alarms, for instance, let authorised users view images and deal with false alarms remotely anytime, anywhere 24/7, and retail and video analytics allow valuable data to be collected, communicated and acted upon.
Why do IoT devices present a cyber security threat?
Each IoT device represents another connection point for hackers to potentially breach a network and they often poorly protected. By attacking one weak point, the entire network can be compromised. On 21 October 2016, the servers of Dyn were attacked by the Mirai botnet, bringing down sites such as Twitter and Netflix for most of the day. It emerged that the servers were infiltrated through IoT devices.
Also, with all the data that is being collected and communicated by IoT devices, the threat of data theft is very high.
How can you manage IoT cyber security?
All devices with an IP address must be secured which involves:
1) Ensuring the latest firmware is installed and regularly updated
2) Having strong (and different) passwords on all devices and changing them frequently
3) Using robust user identification/authorisation methods and setting up user permissions
4) Encrypting data being communicated between different devices
This may seem like a daunting task, especially if there are a number of IoT devices involved, which is why a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution, such as Guardforce Real-time Insured Defense (GRID), is the best option.
GRID and IoT cyber security
GRID is an easy-to-install box which secures all devices with an IP address. It integrates seamlessly with IoT devices, such as CCTV cameras, alarms and access control systems. GRID scans and blocks malicious traffic before it enters the network and encrypts communications between endpoints. The device is also remotely monitored and managed by team of security engineers 24/7 and real-time security updates are automatically pushed out. There are no up-front costs for its installation and only a monthly subscription is required.
By using a UTM, such as GRID, the cyber security weaknesses inherent in IoT devices can be mitigated and networks and data can be protected from the growing threat of attacks on IoT devices.
Learn more about the GRID solution and cyber security