Though the Internet of Things (IoT) has redefined our lives and brought a lot of benefits, it has a large attack surface area and is not safe until it is secure. IoT devices are an easy target for cybercriminals and hackers if not properly secured. You may have serious problems with financial and confidential data being invaded, stolen, or even encrypted.
It is difficult to spot and discuss risks for organizations, let alone build a comprehensive methodology for dealing with them, without practical knowledge of what is IoT security and testing it. Realizing the security threats and how to avoid them is the first step, as Internet of Things solutions require significantly more testing than before. Integrated security is frequently lacking when it comes to introducing new features and products to the market.
What Is IoT Security Testing?
IoT security testing is the practice of evaluating cloud-connected devices and networks to reveal security flaws and prevent devices from being hacked and compromised by a third party. The biggest IoT security risks and challenges can be addressed through a focused approach with the most critical IoT vulnerabilities.
Most Critical IoT Security Vulnerabilities
There are typical issues in security analysis faced by organizations that are missed even by experienced companies. Adequate testing internet of things security in networks and devices is required, as any hack into the system can bring a business to a standstill, leading to a loss in revenue and customer loyalty.
The top 10 common vulnerabilities are the following.
Weak Easy-to-Guess Passwords
Absurdly simple and short passwords that put personal data at risk are among the primary IoT security risks and vulnerabilities for most cloud-connected devices and their owners. Hackers can co-opt multiple devices with a single guessable password, jeopardizing the entire network.
Insecure Ecosystem Interfaces
Insufficient encryption and verification of the user’s identity or access rights in the ecosystem architecture, which is software, hardware, network, and interfaces outside of the device, enable the devices and associated components to get infected by malware. Any element in the broad network of connected technologies is a potential source of risk.
Insecure Network Services
The services running on the device should be given special attention, particularly those that are open to the Internet and have a high risk of illegal remote control. Do not keep ports open, update protocols, and ban any unusual traffic.
Outdated software elements or frameworks make a device unprotected from cyberattacks. They enable third parties to interfere with the performance of the gadgets, operating them remotely or expanding the attack surface for the organization.
Insecure Data Transfer/ Storage
The more devices are connected to the network, the higher the level of data storage/ exchange should be. A lack of secure encoding in sensitive data, whether it is at rest or transferred, can be a failure for the whole system.
Bad Device Management
Bad device management happens because of a poor perception of and visibility into the network. Organizations have a bunch of different devices that they do not even know about, which are easy entry points for attackers. IoT developers are simply unprepared in terms of proper planning, implementation, and management tools.
Poor Secure Update Mechanism
The ability to securely update the software, which is the core of any IoT device, reduces the chances of it being compromised. The gadget becomes vulnerable every time cybercriminals discover a weak point in security. Similarly, if it is not fixed with regular updates, or if there are no regular notifications of security-related changes, it can become compromised over time.
Inadequate Privacy Protection
Personal information is gathered and stored in larger amounts on IoT devices than on smartphones. In case of improper access, there is always a threat of your information being exposed. It is a major privacy concern because most Internet of Things technologies are somehow related to monitoring and controlling gadgets at home, which can have serious consequences later.
Poor Physical Hardening
Physical hardening is one of the major aspects of high security IoT devices since they are a cloud computing technology that operates without human intervention. Many of them are intended to be installed in public spaces (instead of private homes). As a result, they are created in a basic manner, with no additional level of physical security.
Insecure Default Settings
Some IoT devices come with default settings that cannot be modified, or there is a lack of alternatives for operators when it comes to security adjustments. The initial configuration should be modifiable. Default settings that are invariant across multiple devices are insecure. Once guessed, they are used to hack into other devices.
How to Protect IoT Systems and Devices
Easy-to-use gadgets with little regard for data privacy make IoT security on smart devices tricky. The software interfaces are unsafe, and data storage/ transfer is not sufficiently encrypted.
Here are the steps to keep networks and systems safe and secure.
- Introduce IoT security during the design phase. IoT security strategy has the greatest value if it is introduced from the very beginning, the design stage. Most concerns and threats that have risks to an Internet of Things solution may be avoided by identifying them during preparation and planning.
- Network security. Since networks pose the risk of any IoT device being remotely controlled, they play a critical role in cyber protection strategy. The network stability is ensured by port security, antimalware, firewall, and banned IP addresses that are not usually used by a user.
- API security. Sophisticated businesses and websites use APIs to connect services, transfer data, and integrate various types of information in one place, making them a target for hackers. A hacked API can result in the disclosure of confidential information. That is why only approved apps and devices should be permitted to send requests and responses with APIs.
- Segmentation. It is important to follow segmentation for a corporate network if multiple IoT devices are connecting directly to the web. Each of the devices should use its small local network (segment) with limited access to the main network.
- Security gateways serve as an additional level in security IoT infrastructure before sending data produced by a device out to the Internet. They help to track and analyze incoming and outgoing traffic, ensuring someone else cannot directly reach the gadget.
- Software updates. Users should be able to set changes to software and devices by updating them over a network connection or through automation. Improved software means incorporating new features as well as assisting in identifying and eliminating security defects in the early stages.
- Integrating teams. Many people are involved in the IoT development process. They are equally responsible for ensuring the product’s security throughout the full lifecycle. It is preferable to have IoT developers get together with security experts to share guidance and necessary security controls right from the design stage. Our team consists of cross-functional experts who are involved from the beginning to the end of the project. We support clients with developing digital strategies based on the requirements analysis, planning an IoT solution, and performing IoT security testing services so that they can launch a glitch-free Internet of Things product.
To create trustworthy devices and protect them from cyber threats, you have to maintain a defensive and proactive security strategy throughout the entire development cycle.