What is Internet of Things (IOT) security?

IoT has particularly become very popular during the pandemic as a way to reduce contact between people. IoT refers to all devices that are connected to the internet. It also provides you with the opportunity to control other devices remotely. You may be assuming that this refers to traditional devices such as laptops or mobile phones but it is much more than that. These devices can be anything from a smart fridge to a smart toaster. Essentially it is any device that has the ability to connect to the internet.

IoT security on the other hand signifies both the device security and network security, it is the practice of keeping your IoT systems secure. It involves many different techniques, strategies and tools which aim to prevent your devices from being compromised. The most vulnerable segment of IoT devices is connectivity which could lead to potential cyber attacks.

What is the big deal about IoT?

Recently IoT has become a hot topic in the digital world. This is because we are only now realising the significant impact that these devices have on businesses. There are many advantages to using IoT devices without requiring multiple people to work on the same thing such as:

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    Ease of Access

    Wherever you may be in the world you can gain the relevant information from almost anywhere, all you need is your smart device and an internet connection.

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    Automation and Control

    There is a huge scope for automation and control with IoT devices. Most of these devices can interconnect with each other meaning that you can wirelessly control them, such as setting a timer on your coffee machine when to make drinks.

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    Efficiency

    IoT devices make automation effortless. Most controls can be made with a click of a button, reducing admin time.

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    Data capture

    Data is crucial to helping businesses understand the performance of their product. As consumers, IoT can also improve safety and quality of life through e.g. managing product expiration dates.

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    Cost-effectiveness

    One of the main advantages to businesses using IoT is that it saves money. As the devices have the ability to interconnect, it saves time on energy and cost.

    IoT can only operate with an internet connection

    IoT is heavily reliant on internet connectivity. If you do not have access to the internet, you cannot use these devices. That is the biggest disadvantage to using IoT especially because of how dependent we all are on technology. Other issues of IoT devices include:

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      Data breach

      The biggest worry for most businesses is their data being compromised. If your IoT devices are not regularly being updated, managed and maintained it could expose vulnerabilities in the future which may lead to a cyber attack.

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      Reduces employment

      IoT devices could replace some jobs as a result of how automated and controllable they are. This could lead to high levels of unemployment within our society.

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      Complexity

      Although IoT devices are there to make tasks simpler and more efficient, certain work requires more complex implementations. This is because if the system uses a calculation and it has been incorrectly set up, this will affect the rest of the process (1).

      IoT can only operate with an internet connection

      Due to the fact of how broad IoT itself is, IoT security is even more broad and complex. While IoT devices do offer transformational advantages to businesses and people alike, they require complex implementation by designers and manufacturers that have cyber security in mind. Without a doubt, we have been seeing an increase in news stories about various IoT devices being compromised by cyber criminals such as smart security cameras or smartphone microphones. 

      Despite how useful these devices are the more ways that devices can be connected to each other, the more ways cyber criminals can gain access to them. IoT, unlike other technologies, have a larger scope of vulnerabilities due to how they operate which is through internet connectivity. In addition to this, HTTP and API are just two processes that IoT devices heavily rely on which can also be compromised by hackers (2).

      There are several IoT security measures that you can take in order to improve the protection of your devices, this includes: 

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        Cyber security is added to IoT devices during the design stages

        This ensures that proper research and development takes place at the beginning stages of these devices. It also means that the functionality of these devices isn’t compromised by introducing cyber security post the design stage.

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        Network security

        As mentioned, the main culprit behind the vulnerability of IoT devices is internet connectivity. Introducing firewalls, detection systems, blocking suspicious or authorised IP addresses and ensuring that your network is patched and up to date will greatly reduce the risk of your devices being hacked.

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        PKI

        This involves the use of a two-key asymmetric encryption which will encrypt and decrypt private messages as and when you use your IoT devices.

        Despite all of the positives, there are still significant disadvantages to using these devices. Therefore it is crucial to take several measures to ensure that your devices are secure and your private data won’t be compromised by cyber criminals.  


           

          IoT brings many great advantages particularly to businesses. It helps to increase efficiency within the workplace which saves on time and money. For more information or to discuss how to keep your devices secure within your workplace, speak to our IT specialists today by calling on 0121 289 4477 or email us at info@solutions4it.co.uk

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