Ajay Thakur

Internet of Things (IoT) - Security Risks and Vulnerabilities

Blog Post created by Ajay Thakur on Oct 7, 2018

IoT is the sensational topic that is here for quite some time now. But in the recent past years, IoT has gained more relevance. All the major technology giants are amazed about what IoT has achieved in the past and what more it has in the future for the mankind. Most of us are not aware of the term IoT. Let us first understand what IoT actually is.

First, What is IOT?

IoT is known as the Internet of Things. It is a system of interconnected devices that share the real-time information among themselves in a network. When devices like home appliances, vehicles, weather forecast systems, navigations systems are interconnected over a network, they together make the Internet of Things.

Let us take an example to understand the beauty of IoT:

You have a meeting at 10:00 am. You got an email that the meeting is delayed due to some reason. The smart alarm system connected to the email system automatically delays the alarm according to stipulated time. Your coffee machine is also synched with your alarm system. As soon as your alarm hits, your coffee machines automatically brew coffee for you. You are ready to go and rain starts pouring outside. As a result, there is a huge traffic jam. IoT system automatically finds the best possible way of reaching your destination. Books ticket for you and you are ready to go. This is just an introduction of what IoT can achieve. IoT is a vast concept that can totally revolutionize the way things are done.

IoT will also help in building smart cities by improving the transportation, electricity supply, water distribution etc. It does so by finding all possible solutions to the problems and choosing the best solution. In the upcoming future, people will witness smart cities that are free from pollution, smarter transport, and smarter energy management.

IoT has a wide scope. In the new era of connectivity, it is going beyond laptops and smartphones. It is the technology which is going to connect vehicles, smart homes, smart cities, and healthcare. IoT is making more intelligent systems by bridging the gap between digital and the physical world.

But with great power comes great responsibilities too. IoT, if used for good, can change the whole scenario. But misuse of the technology can be devastating. So, it is important that the IoT system must be secure enough that can prevent data theft and any potential threat to our system. Let us discuss what are the various security risks and vulnerabilities involved in IoT and how we can prevent them.

1.Security Risks in IoT Systems

IoT system has a cloud database that is connected to all your devices. These devices are connected to the internet and it could be accessed by the cybercriminals and hackers. As the number of connected devices increases, chances for hackers to breach the security system gets increased.

Making IoT System more Secure

The security must be the main concern before implementing artificial intelligence and IoT systems. It is necessary that security of IoT system is to be considered at an early stage of development. Any unauthenticated access in the IoT network system must be detected at an early stage so that degree of damage can be mitigated. Meanwhile, many embedded devices are set up externally for the security purposes. For making secure IoT systems, two things must be kept in mind.

1.Data security: Data security must be on the top of the list of IoT security features. It is the initial step to prevent any unauthenticated access to the devices in the IoT network. Layered architecture must be used in the data security system. Therefore, any breach of initial security level does no expose all the data. Rather it must alarm the authorities about the potential threats and initial level security breach.

2.Authentication: Devices must be secured with the strong passwords for the authentication. Also, third-party software security tools can be used that makes devices more secure. This may include biometrics, facial recognition, voice recognition systems etc.

 

2.Vulnerabilities in IoT Systems

Let us discuss some of the vulnerabilities that IoT systems are facing:

1. The absence of Transport layer security: In most of the IoT systems data is stored on the online cloud servers, mobile phones or online databases. This data can be hacked easily as it is not encrypted in the transport layer before storing. This enhances the data security risk in IoT system.

2. Inadequate Security Features: With the growing competition and huge demand, technology giants want to launch their IoT software system as soon as soon as possible. Thus the important part of the software life cycle such as testing, quality assurance, and security vulnerabilities are not done properly.

3. Poor mobile security: Poor mobile security in IoT systems make it more vulnerable and risky. Data is stored in a very insecure way in mobile devices. However, iOS devices are more secure than the Android devices. If a user loses his smartphone and data is not backed up, he will be in a big trouble.

4. Storing data on cloud servers: Storing data on the cloud servers is also considered as a weak link in the security of IoT systems. Cloud servers have less security and are open to attackers from all the dimensions. Developers must make sure that data stored on the cloud servers must always be in the encrypted format.

5. Network attacks: Another big vulnerability in the IoT systems is the wireless connection that is exposed to the attackers. For example, hackers can jam the functionality of a gateway in IoT systems. This can bring down the whole IoT system.

Conclusion

In the nutshell, we can say that IoT is the one of the interesting and latest technology these days. Internet of Thing is used to define the network that consists of a number of electronic devices interconnected with smart technology. Smart Cities, smart cars, smart home appliances are going to be the next big thing that will revolutionize the way we live, work and interact. As we know every coin has two sides. Similarly, IoT has some risks and vulnerabilities too. By overcoming these threats, we can enjoy the services of the IoT and artificial intelligence applications.

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