A New Way Forward for IoT: Security of Things

Ten years back if you would have told that someone could wirelessly hack your car, take control of the entertainment system and windshield wipers, and completely disable the accelerator, people around you must have laughed out loud.


But sadly, today it is actually happening.

Two researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek wirelessly hacked into a Jeep Cherokee and disabled Jeep Cherokee’s brakes and accelerator. Shocking?

Welcome to the world of Internet of Things (IoT).

This is the era of connected devices and everything right from the refrigerator in kitchen, smart TV in your living room, to sprinkler systems are interconnected. While the connected devices have made our lives easy, they have become easy targets for hackers.

Related: How Internet of Things (IoT) changes everything?

Now hackers could encroach on each and every personal aspect of our lives such as homes, cars, and appliances. Thanks to IoT we can do things that we never dreamt about. But on the flipside, IoT has become an attractive target for hackers.

IoT Security Hacks

IoT Baby Monitors

Researchers found critical loopholes in several IoT baby monitors. These security cracks could allow hackers to monitor live feeds, change camera settings and authorize other users to remotely view and control the monitor. Scary, isn’t it?

Wearables

Wearable devices & apps are considered to take the IoT revolution to the next level. However, wearables could also become a threat to users’ privacy. Hackers could gather health data from apps or trackers, as well as steal information users’ type using embedded motion sensors.

Related: Wearables Technology Trends 2016 — Plan Your Next Move!
Related: How Can Wearable Technology Boost The Business Productivity?

Video Camera Feed

A company called Shodan pulled up live camera feeds of a baby sleeping in Canada, a kitchen in Canada and schoolrooms in China without any trouble due to insecure connections from traffic lights to ice rinks.

Internet of Things: Eliminating Challenges and Bottlenecks

Unless, we act and move fast to address this issue, we will be facing a disaster. Enterprises and users need to gear up for the numerous security issues of IoT.

Listed below are few ways to help secure Internet of Things.

Connectivity and Security Go Together

In a rush to enhance connectivity, security aspects are often overlooked, especially when complex systems are being linked up. The bottom line means more connection means hackers get a chance to gain backdoor entry that could be exploited to create havoc.

This is a dangerous proposition since the device manufacturers and designers may not be aware of security loopholes. In order to effectively deal with such situations, designers need to take a holistic approach to understand the ways information will move around a distributed system.

Security of Things

We are all excited by the possibility of connected world. IoT is a buzzword garnering attention of both users and businesses alike. Think about the perfect world where all your devices are connected and are in sync with your preferences right from thermostats to vehicles.

But such connectivity will also throw a new set of security challenges. It is important to understand the bottom line that connected devices are worthless unless it is secure. And security can’t be an afterthought rather a core feature in the design of distributed system.

Unintended Linkages Hold The Key

The case of Jeep Cherokee hack gained control over critical driving functions such as brakes by accessing the entertainment system. This might sound unbelievable but is true. Linkages are becoming the new norm and security needs to be approached accordingly.

Secure The Gateways

It is important to secure the gateways that connect IoT devices to manufacturer networks. After all, IoT devices are always connected and on, mainly requiring one-time authentication which makes them an easy source to hack information into company networks. As a result, it is crucial to secure gateways in order to improve the overall security of the system.

Keep The Data Safe

One of the most preferred targets of hackers and spies are big repositories of information where sensitive data related to IoT is stored. It goes without saying that access to sensitive information could result in windfall gains for hackers. IoT related data needs to be secure to safeguard users’ privacy and functionality of business.

Updating Interfaces

It goes without saying that each consumer will own several IoT devices. So what about security updates for such devices. While manual update of security seems to be out of question, installing auto updates by manufacturers also seem to be a risky affair.

In such cases, it is important to implement proper measures in place to avoid interface update itself becoming a major security loophole.

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