IoT or Internet of Things provides a lot of exciting benefits to every consumer, with the potential of changing how people interact with modern technology in many ways. The Internet of Things, in the near future, will probably combine the physical and virtual worlds together in ways that are difficult or even impossible to understand right now.

However, from the perspective of privacy and security, the expected pervasive introduction of devices and sensors into the present intimate spaces like homes, cars, wearables, ingestible, and even the human body, there are some challenges associated with IoT.


IoT, DDoS and Mirai

Back in October 2016, an IoT botnet was used to launch the biggest DDoS attack on the service provider Dyn. It lead to large portions of the internet going down that included the Guardian, Twitter, CNN, Netflix, and Reddit. The malware Mirai made the IoT botnet possible.

Once computers get infected with Mirai, they continue to search the internet for the vulnerable IoT devices. Then they use the default passwords and usernames to log in, which then infects them with the malware. The devices were things such as DVR players and digital cameras.

As physical items in the day to day lives increasingly share and detect observations about people, it is likely for consumers to continue the clamor for their security and privacy.

Color photo of a man clicking on a tablet, with symbols for IoT Security in front; used to illustrate the meaning of Security for IoT.
IoT Issues and Security Challenges

All companies in the IoT industry should ensure the experience, privacy, and security of users in order to make the most out of the benefits that the Internet of Things has to offer. The following are the most common issues and security risks associated with IoT.

1. The challenge for data privacy

The IoT represents taking data storage, collection, and analysis mechanisms to a much greater scale. More devices today are connected to the Internet, with more elements requiring protection, including the network, the device itself, the platform or the application it uses.

2. Technical authentication vulnerabilities

The Internet of Things works with different nature of devices that will be connected online and gather user information in the cloud using the tool itself. An important task that can be done is to work deeper on authentication mechanisms to guarantee the user’s privacy.

3. Data encryption

Data transmission by non-encrypted means results to a major security concern. You also have to consider the importance of network security because in general, the IoT focuses on mobile devices of different types and mostly wireless networks.

4. Human factor

The IoT is still a brand new advancement in technology. The ignorance of security of IoT, both by individual users and companies, also increases the threats of cybersecurity because of the human factor and lack of experience.

5. Complex system

When there are more people, interactions, interfaces, and devices, there is also an increase in the risks for data security. This means there is more diversity and variety in the system so the challenges of managing every point in the network to improve security increases as well.

These are only a few of the most common challenges of IoT as far as security and privacy are concerned.

Color photo of an inscription IoT (Internet Of Things), used to illustrate the meaning of security and privacy for IoT.
The IoT is still a brand new advancement in technology. | Photo credit: Pixabay
IoT Security Measures to Avoid Breach

From the basics to the more advanced and techy ones, below are some of the most essential security measures you must take for your IoT devices:

– Secured Connections

If there is one thing for sure, you will have to connect your IoT devices to the internet if you like to make most out of them. However, the trick isn’t to connect the internet to them and that is the reason why you would want to use a VPN or virtual private network. However, it is not enough.

For more safety, you will require a VPN that is ideal for your device. For example, if you are accessing internet using MacBook, you will need to look for the best VPN suited for Mac. It’s one of the most effective ways to connect your device to the internet securely.

– Passwords

You could think that it isn’t worthy to mention it, but passwords are very important and more often than not, a lot of people forget about this. Never leave default passwords around, regardless if you talk about your router or device. When it comes to this step, the key is setting some passwords that are absolutely aren’t easy to guess.

You may try using phrase for your password or you can also use password manager. The best passwords are the ones that contain uppercase letters, special characters, numbers, lowercase letters, and so on. If your password is longer, then it’s better.

– Access

It is up to you to make decisions in this area. Ask yourself some questions like “do you need to be connected to internet to use your device or not? If your answer is no, you absolutely like to limit access to your home network.

– Updates

There is no manufacturer that will assure you that the device they are selling is 100% secure. That is the reason why they always work to improve their products and release updates on a regular basis. It is your job to ensure that you install such updates as soon as possible.

– Cloud Services

The best part of IoT devices depend on cloud services and that isn’t very great, provided the fact that you need to be connected to internet all the time just to access the cloud. This brings you to the abovementioned problem, which is about limiting access as well as secured connections.

– UPnP

It stands for Universal Plug and Play, which make devices including routers, cameras or printers vulnerable to attack from the cybercriminals. It helps in setting up devices, yet from a security perspective, it’s best for you to consider turning off UPnP.

There are other ways on how to protect your IoT systems and devices. If you have tried everything and you think you need more security measures, why not ask for professional assistance and see the difference!

If you like our article and find it useful, please comment and share! 🙂

IoT Security – How to Protect IoT Systems and Devices

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