How to Protect Yourself Against IoT Device Hacking
IoT device hacking is now happening on a regular basisInstances of hacking IoT devices are making the news on a regular basis. Attack surfaces, updating, risk assessments and even involving trusted hackers are key to preventing the risk.
IoT device hacking is now happening much more rampantly than it used to happen earlier. Still, security continues to be a rather low-priority consideration for everyone who deals with or uses IoT devices. Anyhow, with IoT device hacking now becoming a very regular affair, enterprises, as well as manufacturers of IoT devices, are taking IoT security rather seriously. Enterprises have begun to address the issue from a software development lifecycle approach, which is based on DevOps and DevSecOps principles.
IoT device hacking, it should be remembered, is not just about hacking a device or a set of devices. Hackers can, by hacking IoT devices, gain entry to the network to which it is connected and from there to other system and devices connected to the network and execute data breaches. Similarly, they could also use IoT device hacking as the first step towards carrying out a DDoS attack. So, considering the fact that IoT device hacking could have grave consequences, let’s discuss what all can be done to prevent such hacking:
Embed security experts in software development teams
Software development companies today understand that they can try to prevent IoT device hacking and also reduce development cycle time if they embed security experts into the software development teams. This could help evaluate potential attack surfaces of IoT devices in the development stage itself; such attack surfaces could be used by attackers to hack the devices. which attackers could use to hack the devices. Hackers can compromise IoT devices in different ways; this could include physical compromises (replacing a chip, disabling a security device etc), local network compromises (breaking into a car by mimicking the owner), and power draining attacks. Remember, hackers continue to target IoT devices despite enterprises trying their best to protect them by identifying and fixing security flaws. This is because IoT devices remain always connected to the network Thus, it becomes very important that attempts are made to identify all potential attack surfaces and fix all holes in advance.
Update devices regularly
Update devices and all software regularly. Manufacturers of IoT devices must always devise ways to communicate remotely as regards updating devices. They could use DevOps tools for this; these tools could help apply patches on remote IoT devices, thereby ensuring that all devices are updated regularly. IoT device manufacturers also need to ensure that security updates happen very fast, thereby minimizing the time customers continue to remain vulnerable. They should also ensure that security processes are integrated into the device in the design phase itself. Similarly, a security team should check device security after every new security update is released and also when a new threat vector is detected.
Give due importance to risk assessment
Proper and regular risk assessment is one of the key requisites when it comes to ensuring IoT device security. Similarly, steps should be taken to ensure that the application level encryption is aptly managed by an administrator. This too is important as regards security of the device. Ensuring the use of virtual private networks and secure communications protocols is also of critical importance.
Test hack helps a lot!
IoT devices, when they are ready, could be subjected to test hacks, done by trusted IoT device hacking experts. They can spot security holes that developers or the automated security testing tools might not detect.
Julia Sowells318 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.