Are IoT Devices Completely Safe?

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IoT, short for the Internet of Things, is a network of internet-connected devices and tools that make everyday tasks much easier and more efficient. We can see IoT devices all around us; from our smart coffee maker to automated industrial equipment, IoT empowers all our daily tasks.

Today, most people across the world have access to an internet connection. In the US, around 90% of the population has access to the internet, and more than 80% of them have availability of a superfast connection like Spectrum Internet ®. Other ISPs like Verizon, AT&T, and others also make sure that people stay connected and use the technology for their benefit.

But while it all sounds fascinating, we often wonder isn’t it all too good to be true? Is technology like IoT all good or are there any downsides to it? To answer this question, one thing we can say for sure is that IoT devices aren’t completely safe. There are some risks attached to their usage, and that’s what exactly we will be looking at in this article. So keep reading to learn more.

1.      Data leaks

Getting your data leaked, especially your work-related data is a nightmare. According to reports the daily amount of data generated by Internet users on average is around 2.5 quintillion bytes! It won’t be unfair to say that protecting this much amount of data isn’t easy.

And when data is being transferred through IoT devices, it can never be totally secure. These devices create a bridge between insecure devices and secure networks, and if compromised, they can lead to a leakage of valuable data to unauthorized hands. And this leakage can’t be eradicated completely, as it is the very nature of these devices; often, these devices are too low-powered to support any necessary encryption and usually grant access to unauthorized networks. Moreover, these devices rely on vulnerable interfaces, such as apps and websites that aren’t secure by encryption, giving more opportunities for breaches.

2.      Malware risks

Personal computers were previously the primary target of malware. However, as our computing devices have become more diverse, so have the targets for these viruses. Because IoT devices are built on various CPU architectures, including resource-constrained hardware, they have become a popular target for malware.

In general, IoT malware attacks take various forms, including DDoS attacks, brute-force attacks, and others. When malware compromises one of your smart devices, the rest of your connected devices are also compromised.

3.      Cyberattacks

The number of IoT devices is increasing, and so is the number of cyberattacks related to them. It has been estimated that there will be around 41.6 billion IoT devices by 2025. So, it is fair to say that we have to keep an eye on the increasing number of cyberattacks related to these devices. Some of the most widely observed and anticipated cyberattacks related to IoT devices are:

IoT botnets: As discussed previously, the number of malware attacks on IoT devices is on the rise. When different compromised IoT devices, such as routers, have fallen victim to malicious actors, they join to form an army of infected devices called a botnet.

Ransomware: Ransomware attacks involve criminals getting access to important data and restricting access to it unless a desired amount of ransom is paid to them. While this form of cyberattack isn’t new, its introduction in the realm of IoT isn’t too old. The results of this attack, however, can be quite destructive as IoT is used in areas such as healthcare, which involve crucial and sensitive data.

DNS threats: DNS attacks work by replacing the authorized IP address in a server’s cache with an unauthorized IP address in order to redirect traffic to a malicious website. Because IoT devices typically exchange information via online remote services and frequently locate these services via the DNS protocol. As a result, these devices are vulnerable to DNS attacks.

4.      Network Security

Because IoT devices are connected to the internet, they raise certain network security problems. Insecure passwords are one such issue; IoT devices typically come with passwords provided by the manufacturer, and users seldom change them. These passwords are simpler to remember and hence more likely to be leaked. These weak passwords put IoT devices in danger. Because attackers may readily access these devices using easily guessable passwords or simple brute-force attempts.

5.      Application vulnerabilities

When it comes to application, IoT devices are often subject to two sorts of threats; many IoT applications, when built, rely on third-party frameworks and libraries. They may represent security hazards if they are outdated or have known vulnerabilities and are not tested before being deployed in a network.

Another source of concern is insecure data transit and storage. Data of various sorts are stored and exchanged across various IoT apps and other connected devices and systems. These, if not protected by a layer of transit security or other protocols, may get into the hands of unauthorized individuals. As a result, encryption is critical.

To Sum Up,

IoT devices make our lives much easier and more efficient. However, while there are numerous benefits to using these smart devices, there are some security concerns that we must be aware of when doing so. When using your IoT devices and considering how heavily you will rely on them, you should be aware of some of their weak points, including data leakage, malware risks, network security issues, and application vulnerabilities.

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