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Understanding the Significance of Security in IoT Systems

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Security risks and vulnerabilities are crucial factors for the design and deployment of IoT systems. Read on to know more about it…

The benefits of IoT are undeniable; and yet, high-profile attacks, combined with uncertainty about security best practices and their associated costs are keeping many businesses from adopting the technology. IoT security includes both physical device security and network security, encompassing the processes, technologies, and measures necessary to protect IoT devices as well as the networks they’re connected to. Besides, end-users are wary of the consequences of IoT security breaches. Research indicates that 90% of consumers lack confidence in IoT device security. A 2019 survey conducted in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. revealed that 63% of consumers even find connected devices “creepy”.

IoT Security – A Necessity
A robust IoT security system allows developers to secure their devices from all types of risks and vulnerabilities while deploying the security level that best matches their application needs. Cryptography technologies are used to combat communication attacks. Security services are offered for protecting against lifecycle attacks. Isolation measures can be implemented to fend off software attacks. And, finally, IoT security should include tamper mitigation and side-channel attack mitigation technologies for fighting IoT based attacks.

IoT device security must protect systems, networks, and data from a broad spectrum of IoT security attacks, which target four types of vulnerabilities:

• Communication attacks, which put the data transmitted between IoT devices and servers at risk.
• Lifecycle attacks, which put the integrity of the IoT device as it changes hands from user to maintenance.
• Attacks on the device software.

IoT Security Threats
As IoT devices have become more sophisticated, so have the threats that they pose. This has manifested itself in all manner of cyberattacks, including widespread spam and phishing campaigns, as well as DDoS attacks. The latter have been growing in size in recent years, mostly due to the increased availability of under protected IoT devices.

A compromised IoT device places its users at risk in a number of ways, such as:

Data Theft: An IoT device contains vast amounts of data, much of which is unique to its individual users, including online browsing/purchase records, credit card details and personal health information.

An improperly secured device leaves this data vulnerable to theft. What’s more, vulnerable devices can be used as gateways to other areas of the network they are deployed on, allowing for more sensitive data to be extracted.

Physical Risk: IoT devices are now commonplace in the medical industry, with examples including pacemakers, heart monitors and defibrillators. While convenient (e.g., a doctor can fine-tune a patient’s pacemaker remotely), these devices are also vulnerable to security threats.

An improperly secured device can be exploited to interfere with a patient’s medical care. It’s an exceedingly rare occurrence, albeit one to be considered when developing a strategy for securing IoT devices.

Remote-Hijacking: Insecure IoT devices are vulnerable to being hijacked and used in a botnet — a collection of malware-infected internet connected devices, possibly numbering in the millions, controlled from a remote location.

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