Feb 28, 2023

What Is The IoT? And How It Affects Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a collective term for all the physical devices around the world that are connected to the internet, excluding computers, smartphones, and tablets. There’s an incredibly broad range of things that can be part of the Internet of things, but the most common ones include smart locks, security systems, appliances like thermostats and refrigerators, printers, light bulbs, smart watches, and more.

IoT technology has become increasingly integrated into security devices and systems. For example, smart locks utilize IoT-enabled sensors to allow users to operate their doors remotely via a smartphone. IoT-based cameras and alarm systems have also played a significant role in reshaping security. Despite the positives provided by IoT technology, there are also serious concerns over privacy and potential security risks. The vulnerabilities in IoT systems can lead to security devices and systems being exposed to different types of threats.

Top Internet of Things Security Risks and Vulnerabilities

  • Unsecure communications: Data transmission between devices can easily be intercepted by bad actors. This happens when IoT technology leverages insecure network devices and ecosystem interfaces.
  • Lack of IoT security updates: Many of the manufacturers developing IoT technology may delay releasing security updates, and sometimes they may stop releasing updates altogether. This is a serious security risk, as it leaves devices vulnerable to attacks.
  • Use of Insecure or Outdated Components: The use of insecure software components, third-party software, and hardware components could allow IoT devices to be compromised.
  • Insufficient Authentication: Some IoT devices lack adequate authentication measures, thereby exposing the devices to security threats.

 Tips To Enhance Your IoT Security

Luckily, there are simple and practical ways you can keep your IoT devices secure. Here is how to mitigate the security risks and vulnerabilities associated with IoT technology.

  • Secure your Wi-Fi network by keeping your router up to date, changing your router’s preset passwords, enabling network encryption, and ensuring you have a good firewall.
  • Install devices made with secure hardware. For example, your smart locks should be made of hardware that provides a greater level of protection against attacks.
  • Activate multi-factor authentication to prevent bad actors from gaining access to a network via a stolen password.
  • Keep your security devices updated in order to make it harder for attackers to compromise your devices.
  • Use secure passwords—if your smart locks, security cameras, and other security devices use passwords, choose something strong.
  • Be careful about the apps that you give permission on your smart devices.

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