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IoT-Based Attack

IoT-Based Attack

The use of IoT devices (security cameras, sensors, wearables, among others) are becoming increasingly popular not only among corporations but also on an individual level. People have digitised their way of living (smart homes) and companies are relying more on IoT (Internet of Things) devices to either enhance security or make daily business operations less complex. With the inclusion of more digital devices in routine operations, more openings are created for attackers to infiltrate the company’s network. IoT devices are sometimes  easier targets as they are frequently disregarded by companies when security patches applications are concerned.

 Attack surface areas of IoT

This section will list IoT systems/ applications where vulnerabilities may exist:

Devices: Devices can be the primary targets of attackers. Vulnerabilities in hardware usually arise from its memory, firmware, physical interface, web interface and network services. Other vulnerabilities that attackers may exploit are unprotected default settings, outdated components and unprotected mechanisms.

– Communication channels: Attacks can arise from communication channels that are interconnected with IoT components. IoT system protocols may be misconfigured and attackers may use this vulnerability as a gateway to access the organisation’s network. Moreover, IoT systems are vulnerable to DDoS and spoofing.

– Applications/software: Vulnerabilities found on web applications and related software can result in compromised systems. For instance, web applications can be exploited to steal usernames and passwords or push malicious firmware updates.

 How can IoT be more secure?

Companies can implement security mechanisms based on the possible attack surfaces that can be exploited by an attacker. Below are the security guidelines that can make IoT less vulnerable and prone to attacks:

– All data and information collected and stored should be accounted for. Any data and information being transferred within an IoT system should be mapped appropriately. It englobes the data collected by sensors and even credentials in automated servers or any other IoT applications.

–  Devices connected to the corporate network should be configured appropriately. Secured configurations include strong credentials used, multifactor authentication and encryption.

The security tactic of the organisation should be centered on the assumption of compromise. Averting data breaches are important but it is more crucial that companies realise that there is no perfect defense mechanisms against ever-evolving and innovative threats which can aid in producing mitigation techniques that can thwart the impacts of successful attacks.

Devices should be physically secured. An IoT device should be physically secured from being tampered with and kept in a restricted area where only authorised parties can access and is protected by physical and digital security systems. For instance, IP cameras can be easily tampered with if a cybercriminal manages to reach them. Attackers could inject malicious hardware or software that may lead to system failures or even further spread the malware to other connected devices.

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