IoT security: risks and challenges of the internet of things

The evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought with it a number of significant benefits, but it has also posed considerable challenges in terms of security.

The interconnection of devices, networks and data has created a scenario where security becomes a crucial priority.

In this Guinea Mobile article, we will explain the main threats facing the IoT cybersecurity environment, provide practical tips for mitigating risks, and highlight the importance of keeping these systems secure.

What is IoT security?

IoT security refers to the practices and measures implemented to protect IoT systems, including both the devices and the networks to which they are connected.

It involves identifying, monitoring and addressing potential vulnerabilities in all IoT-related components and infrastructures.

Importance of IoT security

The IoT encompasses a wide range of interconnected devices, from smartphones to home appliances to vehicles, which constantly collect and share data.

This massive interconnection of devices creates a vast amount of information that can be subject to theft or manipulation by cybercriminals.

In addition, the exponential growth of IoT in various sectors, such as utilities, industry and smart cities, increases the need to protect these systems.

IoT security breaches can have devastating consequences, affecting both virtual and physical systems.

From connected vehicles to medical devices and security cameras, any compromised IoT device can put users’ security and privacy at risk.

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Types of IoT attacks

Attacks in the IoT environment can take many forms, often unknown. IoT cybersecurity attacks can threaten processes, data communication or data flow, and data storage.

These include phishing, information disclosure, device tampering, denial of service and elevation of privilege.

Because everything is connected, these attacks can compromise both the integrity of data and the physical security of devices and facilities.

Top IoT security threats and risks

IoT cybersecurity presents a number of inherent risks, such as massive connectivity, data collection and short device lifecycles.

These risks can manifest themselves in technical vulnerabilities, lack of proper authentication and rapid device obsolescence.

IoT cybersecurity has risks inherent to its very nature: connectivity, massive data collection, technical vulnerabilities in authentication mechanisms and computational limitations, and short device lifecycles.

With these characteristics in mind, we can detail some of the most common IoT security threats, classifying them into those that are most damaging to devices, connectivity and data, although they are almost always related.

Examples of IoT security issues

Over the years, several IoT device security incidents have been reported, including the Stuxnet attack in Iran, the Mirai botnet and the hacking of IP cameras.

These cases illustrate IoT device security with cyber attacks and highlight the importance of implementing appropriate security measures. And these are some of the ones that have transpired:

2018: VPN Filter malware

In 2018, VPN Filter malware infected more than half a million routers in more than 50 countries.

Such malware can install malware on devices connected to your router and collect information passing through, block network traffic and steal passwords.

2020: Tesla Model X Hacking

A cybersecurity expert hacked a Tesla Model X in less than two minutes by exploiting a Bluetooth vulnerability. There have been similar attacks on vehicles that use wireless keys to unlock and start.

2021: Hacking of Verkada cameras

Verkada is a security camera company. In 2021, Swiss hackers breached 150 000 live camera streams.

These cameras monitored activity inside public buildings (such as schools, hospitals, prisons) and private corporate organizations.

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IoT security tips

To protect IoT systems, it is critical to follow good security practices. Some important tips include:

  • Keep device and software up to date to mitigate vulnerabilities.
  • Establish strong passwords and update them regularly.
  • Use perimeter security devices, such as firewalls, to protect the network.
  • Periodically audit IoT devices for potential vulnerabilities.
  • Raise employee awareness of the importance of IoT device security.

IoT security challenges and challenges

The rise of remote working has highlighted the importance of securing home networks, which are often less secure than corporate networks.

In addition, the continued growth in the number of connected devices in homes and in the business environment poses new challenges in terms of security and risk management.

IoT security is a paramount aspect that should not be overlooked. With proper implementation of security measures and awareness of the associated risks, we can mitigate threats and protect the integrity of our IoT systems.

At Guinea Mobile, we are committed to delivering intelligent telecommunications solutions that take full advantage of IoT capabilities. Get in touch for a personalized consultation.