Saturday, May 15, 2021

Top IoT Security Threats that CISOs Need to Prioritize

One of the most challenging areas to consider for securing IoT and related Industrial IoT devices, networks, clouds, equipment, and applications is the rise of automated systems. The adoption of AI for control systems is raising the stakes higher.

The top threats to IoT have the goal of helping manufacturers, enterprises, developers, and consumers to make better-informed decisions regarding the creation and the use of IoT systems.

Hardcoded Passwords or Weak Guessable:

The basic and the most crucial factor to ensure cybersecurity is to assure hardcoded passwords, which are least guessable.

Insecure Network Services:

A comprehensive security posture refers to securing each vulnerability up and down the stack, and from edge to the cloud. CISOs need to focus hard on the device software, generating a unique, device-only, access key kept in a precise, secure location inside the device, without any default credentials.

Regarding network services, it’s critical to ensure that the management software enables visibility and enforcement on the network services associated with the device, and continuous security updates to make sure that each device is running the latest version.

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Insecure Ecosystem Interfaces:

Insecure ecosystem interfaces apply to the insecure web, cloud, backend API, or mobile interfaces outside of the device that permits compromise of the device or other related components.

Common issues comprise of – lacking or weak encryption, lack of authentication/authorization, and a lack of input and output filtering, and it is essential for developers to rebuild backend applications based on the latest services, protocols, and standards.

It is important to consider regular reviews and approvals by security experts, API interfaces authenticated with rotating security keys, encrypted traffic, and further protection through multifactor authentication when human intervention is needed.

Lack of Secure Update Mechanism:

Lack of secure update mechanism can be effectively addressed through over-the-air (OTA) updates and adoption of download signed firmware on encrypted channel policies. This also enables the entire lifecycle of rolling and rollback of different security updates.

Use of Outdated or Insecure Components:

The use of outdated or insecure components includes insecure customization of various operating system platforms and use third-party hardware or software components from a compromised supply chain.

To address the issue, it is crucial to ensure backend servers are patched periodically, guarantee new devices, and enable OTA updates to devices as they are installed, have the latest patches, and are ready to receive updates simply and securely.

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Insufficient Privacy Protection:

Insufficient Privacy Protection occurs when the user’s personal information stored in the ecosystem or on the device is used and is either not secured or lacks permission. The best method to prevent hacking of personal information is to not keep the data on the device, rather than moving it to the cloud and a secured location, with complete access permissions based on least-privilege principles.

Privileged Access Management separates duties between private data administrators and device administrators, and any IoT platform should ensure that data from various jurisdictions are kept at the relevant locations following GDPR guidelines and other regulatory requirements.

Insecure Data Transfer and Storage:

Insecure data transfer and storage remains another area of the potential attack surface IoT solution providers need to prioritize, as the lack of encryption or access control anywhere within the ecosystem, including at rest, in transit, or during processing can lead to huge losses. This is resolved by encryption by default for traffic between devices and backend servers.

Lack of Physical Hardening:

To be successful in today’s increasingly sophisticated digital-physical world, it’s vital to ensure firmware, hardware, software, and networking security is addressed at each level, without slowing down on the performance, or creating too much complexity.

Lack of physical hardening measures allows the potential attackers to gain sensitive information that can assist in a future remote attack or take local control of the device, creating huge risk, so encrypting as much as possible, and creating automatic and robust update process is the new standard.

Addressing all these top IoT security basic concerns is important to ensure that businesses are capable enough to handle more complex evolving information security issues.

Debjani Chaudhury
Debjani Chaudhury works as an associate editor with OnDot Media. In this capacity, she contributes editorial articles for two platforms, focusing on the latest global technology and trends. Debjani is a seasoned Content Developer who comes with 3 years of experience with Fashion, IT, and International Marketing industries. She has represented India in International trade forums like Hannover Messe, Germany.

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