Major Security Risks for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Solutions

As the Internet of things (IoT) proliferates, so do the risks of attack associated with smart devices via their connectivity. The Internet of Things (IoT) enabled increasingly connected world is witnessing the growing networking of all sorts of physical devices from machines to cars to home appliances. As the Internet of Things (IoT) connects a vast number of everyday smart devices, their respective systems that were previously closed are being opened up to remote access and control.

IoT Security – Challenges and Solutions

Unfortunately, hostile parties lurk everywhere, ready to exploit any vulnerability. Though IoT offers great convenience and is slowly becoming a necessity, it also has the potential to allow Internet hackers and privacy invaders to track everything that’s connected via this technology. An IoT security solution can help safeguard your connected devices and networks in the Internet of things (IoT) and prevent such attacks. So, what do we need to do to secure the IoT?

Tips for Securing the Internet of Things (IoT)

1) Most smart “things” support Wi-Fi so that you don’t have to plug them using a cable into your smartphone or PC to be able to use them. If your home Wi-Fi router has the option to create guest networks to keep untrusted visitors away from your regular network, create a special guest network for your “things” and connect them there.

2) Many devices, such as modern video cameras and printers/scanners etc., try to talk to your router to accept inbound connections so they can connect from the outside. This can, in turn, expose your devices to the rest of the world. Disable the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) option on your router, and on your IoT devices if possible, to avoid this exposure. It is possible that you are being noticed and indexed when you hook up your device for the first time. There are search engines that specialize in locating and indexing online devices, irrespective of whether you wanted them to be found or not.

3) Keep the firmware up to date on all of your IoT devices – this is just as important, if not more, as it is for your PC — think of this as updating your antivirus software regularly. It can be a little tricky at first to figure out when updates are available, but checking the manufacturer’s website twice a year should be enough to remind you about it.

4) This one is a no-brainer but make sure you choose strong passwords and memorize them carefully. Many IoT devices have been found to have security holes that let malicious hackers and attackers trick them into silently leaking security information like your Wi-Fi password.

5) Prefer smart devices that don’t need cloud to operate. IoT “things” that require a cloud service might be “cool” but they are often less secure than IoT devices that you can control from within your home. Read the specification of the device carefully to find out whether permanent internet access is required for the device to operate.

The internet of things no doubt has the potential to be “life changing” for both end user consumers and corporate businesses, but security and privacy has to be given primary importance when it comes to using IoT smart devices. What are your thoughts on IoT Security?

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