Hackers Targeting IoT Devices – How To Protect Yourself

Hackers Targeting IoT Devices – How To Protect Yourself

An article by Marc, Editor at IoT Business News.

The world is becoming more and more connected as time goes on, especially as the Internet of Things (IoT) gains momentum and coverage. With anything that operates in the online world and with the millions of objects now connected to the Internet, hackers and cyber crooks are always trying to stay one step ahead of the security that is put in place in order to take advantage of situations which may present themselves. Therefore, security is not an option and it should be considered with extreme attention, especially by the businesses offering IoT devices or services.

Although we could expect that cyber security is now taken seriously by any company offering a connected solution (product or sevice), it is unfortunately not the case. And it is important to give a few basic hints to try minimizing the risk against cyber criminals and cyber attacks.

Here are some steps everyone and every company can and should take.

Update Device and Software

This is one of the simplest solutions when it comes to preventing cyber-attacks, but it’s one that many often forget about or neglect. Any device that is in use will see security updates pumped out by the manufacturer, and it is important they are applied by the end user or by the product owner quickly to prevent any vulnerabilities. Considering how IoT devices work, there must also be constant communication regarding keeping devices updated. And when all is said and done, security checks by a security team should also be done on a regular basis.

Test Hacking

It has become common for industries to invite hackers into the fold to try and expose any vulnerabilities that may be present on their websites or devices. This, in effect, is arguably the most efficient way of preventing from security breaches as having experienced hackers try and exploit a service will bring to light any security hole that may have otherwise been missed. There is no reason why IoT devices, when ready, cannot be put through their pace in a similar way. You could even go as far as bringing in experienced sand trusted hackers who specialise somewhat in hacking connected devices.

Add Security Experts To The Team

A lot of security flaws, holes and vulnerabilities appear at the software development stage, when the development team is focused on designing the product and how the software is going to work. Therefore, it is obviously beneficial to bring in a couple of security experts at an early stage of design and development and add them to the team. This would allow the hardware and software to be designed with security in mind, with security experts challenging the designers and able to point out where potential flaws and weak spots may occur.

This practice has been adopted for some time now by many online businesses relying on in-house development and technology. It is especially true for services requiring a high-level of security like online banking services or online gaming, where money flows are involved. Brands like mFortune, who are renowned in the gaming industry for their innovative mobile casino games, have decided to invest in the security of their platform right from the start. And they keep some security experts monitoring their online activities on a daily basis to ensure nothing is left to chance.

This level of commitment to security is essential to keep any connected business trusted and to have any connected service used at its full potential. The players in the IoT space should have the same approach and the same level of concern and commitment to security as the pioneers of the online industry. And their teams should comprise security experts, involved at an early stage of the design process to guarantee their connected product is and remains robust to cyber attacks.

Assess your risk

Finally, and maybe most importantly, risk assessment is a must. Assessing the risk must be a continual practice where the security if IoT devices is at stake. With hackers always looking to stay one step ahead of any security procedures, it is important to re-assess the cyber risks on a regular basis. This shouldn’t just apply to IoT devices only. The applications and the networks they’re running on should always be checked too, as secure communication from end-to-end is of critical importance. Hackers never sleep and therefore companies relying on connected devices for their business should never rest either…

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