Securing IoT Devices From Cyber Attacks

ONPASSIVE

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9 Oct 2022
8 Min read

How to secure IoT devices and protect them from cyber attacks

The era of automation, AI, and IoT has arrived. More and more businesses have modernized their operations and are prepared to catch the wave of digital transformation. Some people were obliged to adopt digitalization due to the COVID-19 epidemic, which made it necessary for people to work remotely. This shift made it possible for the widespread adoption of IoT devices.

Our lives are now more streamlined and convenient thanks to IoT gadgets. Even if we now use a variety of IoT devices, it is crucial to be aware of cyberattacks’ security dangers and hazards.

Increased Usage Of IoT Devices

The number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in businesses has skyrocketed. In order to acquire valuable business insights, the computation must now be situated as close to the data as feasible, and there are more connectivity possibilities available at the edge. As a result, IoT and smart devices with Internet access have increased.

Despite the benefits and efficacy of employing IoT devices at the edge, it might cause enterprises to have security blind spots. How is IoT used in business settings, and how can it be protected? Let’s discuss security best practices and why a safe password strategy is crucial for device security.

What Exactly Are IoT Devices?

IoT generally refers to gadgets with sensors, embedded software, network connectivity, and other technologies that let them communicate online with different devices. IoT gadgets include everything from home appliances (such as refrigerators, thermostats, ovens, and microwaves) to factories’ commercial tools, sensors, and machinery. These “things” may share and collect a wide variety of data.

Any device, even IoT devices, may now be connected to the network thanks to the popularity of broadband network access, wireless networks, and soon 5G mobile networks in remote areas. As a result, previously “dumb” devices are increasingly evolving into “smart devices” that can connect to the Internet.

Securing IoT Devices From Cyber Attacks

Cyberattacks frequently prey on a network’s security system’s weakest point. One of the most frequent reasons for cybersecurity breaches is staff members who cannot recognize a phishing attempt. Additionally, devices with weak security, such as those using the manufacturer’s default password, can be hazardous.

Fortunately, you can protect your IoT devices without having a deep understanding of security. 

A few basic best practices like those below can make a big difference:

  • Change The Default Settings & Passwords

It’s a good idea to eliminate unnecessary access and connectivity functions when configuring a new IoT device. Numerous connectivity qualities exist that, although beneficial in some situations, could also pose a concern in others. 

Additionally, gadgets typically come with weak default passwords and little security protection. To safeguard the IoT devices you possess, you must address these risks.

For instance, by default, many IoT devices will attempt to connect automatically to other devices and networks in the vicinity. This can make building a smart home or business network more accessible, but it can also lead to severe security gaps. 

Through unprotected IoT devices, hackers and unauthorized users might connect to the network. This, too, has two sides. Anyone can access your data and devices if your network is not adequately secured.

  •  Choose a Strong Password, & Do Not Use It Too Often

The most effective barrier against hackers is a solid and secure password. Using a widely used and straightforward password for Internet of Things (IoT) devices opens the door to hackers. Use a different password for every device, making sure it is distinct. You should reconsider your password if you still use “password” and “qwerty.”

Every device that utilizes that password could be harmed if a hacker can guess one of your passwords. It could be challenging to remember all the passwords, but doing so is necessary to protect IoT devices. You can record them in your journal, but avoid keeping electronic notes.

  •  Use Multi-Factor Authentication

MFA, or multi-factor authentication, is the most popular login technology on the market right now. It is practical and secure because it is simple but incredibly secure.

MFA operates by using an identity confirmation to validate login attempts. You could be required to verify your identity during an MFA login by entering a secure one-time code delivered to a verified phone number or email address, for example. 

These codes are unpredictable, nearly impossible to guess, and only valid for a predetermined period of time.

MFA is extremely safe because a hacker would have to go through many hoops to access your account even if your password were stolen. The password for the account, website, or app you’re trying to get into would need to be stolen, as well as your physical phone or email password. 

MFA substantially improves IoT security and only adds a minute to your login time. Not all devices, IoT hubs, or IoT apps might support MFA. But if it’s available, go ahead and choose to employ it.

  •  Use High-Quality WiFi Encryption

The router in your home or office serves as a bridge between your IoT devices and the Internet. If it’s insecure, it can leave your network and IoT devices vulnerable to attack. 

Usually, the manufacturer’s default password is included with routers. Change this password as soon as possible, and make it long and distinctive with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Never use a router password that includes your birthday, a name, a pet, or another widely used phrase.

Setting your router to the most robust encryption type you can access is a good idea if you don’t currently utilize encryption. The majority of routers will use WPA2. Upgrade your router if it doesn’t support this degree of encryption. Like any other technology, routers can become outdated, and a newer model will often contain the most recent security software.

  •  Stay away from Universal Plug & Play

Despite having its benefits, Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) might leave printers, routers, cameras, and IoT devices open to hacker attacks. The idea of UPnP’s design is to make it simpler to connect devices to networks without requiring further configuration and to aid in their automatic discovery of one another. 

The biggest gain comes from hackers, who can now find all IoT devices outside your local network. Therefore, it is recommended to disable UPnP entirely.

Conclusion 

As long as there are no adequate laws governing the security of these devices, cyberattacks against IoT devices will only increase in size and frequency. You may protect your privacy by combining fundamental and sophisticated cybersecurity techniques.

You can keep your network secure by combining primary and sophisticated cybersecurity measures. Deactivating unneeded networking features and changing default passwords, two seemingly simple procedures, can protect a device from prospective assaults.

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