How To Overcome IoT Security Threats?

Internet of Things (IoT) is an exceptional automation and analytics system that utilizes sensing, big data, networking, and artificial intelligence technology to create comprehensive products or service-based applications. Such systems lead to better control, transparency, and performance when implemented in any system or industry. 

The international market for the IoT reached $100 billion in revenue for the first time in 2017, and forecasts propose that this figure will rise to about $1.6 trillion by 2025. The size of the IoT market in Europe is predicted to reach €242,222 million by the end of 2020. IoT-connected devices' growing popularity can keep IoT app development companies busy in the future for overcoming security threats. 

Insecurity is the topmost concern for the internet of things (IoT) devices. F-Secure security researchers have given a strong warning that cyber attacks on IoT devices are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The company's "Attack Landscape H1 2019" observed a three-fold increase in attack traffic to more than 2.9 billion events. The organization utilizes honeypots - worldwide decoy servers regarded as day-to-day operational hardware to attract frequent attacks - but this is the first time that threats on those honeypots "have hit the billion mark."

Current IoT Security Threats & How to Defeat? 

1. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attacks

In computing, distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) or a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) is a malicious attempt to make a network or machine resource unavailable to its target audience. It is a "Denial of Service" in which the database is never viewed, the server is never compromised, and the data is never deleted. The server remains unchanged after and throughout the attack. 

From a high-level point of view, a DDoS attack is just like a traffic jam, also called traffic congestion. Its main purpose is to block up the highway and prevent regular traffic from arriving at its intended destination. If the Internet of Things (IoT) offers various benefits like encouraging the communication between devices, which is also known as M2M (Machine-to-Machine) communication, there are severe security issues noticed in the IoT devices. 

First of all, IoT devices don't contain strong security features during development. As a result, it gives access to hackers to steal information. Other than protection issues and personal privacy concerns arising from such security flaws, one of the biggest risks with these connected devices is that it allows hackers to form a botnet, an interconnected network of malware-infected computers produced without the knowledge of the user. 

Botnets are called "Zombie armies" that can be installed on thousands, but not millions of connected devices to launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack and to send spam attacks. The more the connected internet devices introduced to the market, the higher the risk for incredibly large botnets. 

The Best way to protect IoT devices against DDoS attacks is Fuzz Testing. Fuzz testing or Fuzzing is an excellent automated software testing technique focused on providing unexpected, invalid, or random data as inputs to computer programs. Further, the applications can be checked for irregularities such as possible memory leaks or loss of in-built code statements, failures, etc. The purpose of implementing these security testing methods on IoT applications is to increase the robustness and ensure that software is accurately programmed to reduce denial of service attacks. 

2. Network Hacks

Network hacks take place when devices are corrupted over the network to which they are connected. This breaching activity helps hackers gain ownership of the system and enable them to use it as they like. In the case of digital transmission, whatever the data you send across a network will go in an encoded format. However, hackers often find many ways to steal such types of data at their fingertips. 

Today, employees take their IoT-connected devices to their offices. They can put their companies at risk from cyber threats because some corporate management departments don't know that these machines are connected to the network. 

Smartwatches and fitness trackers are the most commonly used IoT products and become necessary to live a healthy and modern lifestyle. Even these devices, including medical equipment, are easy to connect with some enterprise networks and often access without reporting to their IT teams. 

According to data from the information security firm Infoblox, nearly 46% of the companies have found 'Shadow' IoT devices on their networks over the past year. Therefore, we can say that if employees connect more IoT products to networks, then there are significant risks of cyberattacks in industries. 

It is essential to consider penetration testing for IoT. Penetration testing is also known as ethical hacking or pen testing, is the testing technique used for networks, web applications, or computer systems to protect sensitive data from attackers. One must use firewalls for web apps and use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocols for dealing with online data. 

There are two ways to test the network with penetration testing - one is a manual penetration test, and the second is done through automated testing tools. The main benefits of employee penetration testing are brand reputation and customer loyalty. It helps organizations to ban unauthorized users. You can even consider SSL certification to improve customer's trust and to protect client-server communication. 

3. Radio Jamming 

In the United States, Jammers or radio jamming devices are illegal, and if anyone uses it, they have to pay hefty fines. It is the purposeful blocking, jamming, or interference activity with authorized wireless communications. 

A radio frequency jammer is a device designed, adjusted, and to avoid the response of radio transmissions by a receiver related to its function. It can make a crime very easy, cause you to miss a call, or permanently put your life at risk. 

Before using advanced smart jammer designs, one must validate its performance and quality. By purchasing an illegal type of RF jammer device, you can face connectivity issues with IoT devices and can lose their ability to communicate with networks. 

Some smart jammers are utilized by defense industries in electronic attack and defensive system suites to make a fool of hostile radars. Neglecting the DRFM or Deceptive Jammer Testing means you forcefully want to give your application access to hackers. 

Apart from that, to keep an eye on regular updates is essential. Otherwise, it would be difficult for you to manage user risks-based security challenges on IoT devices. According to a new survey from Ubuntu, 31% update their IoT-connected devices instantly as they notice updates, and further 40% of consumers are those who never pay attention to IoT updates. As a result, their devices face hacking issues and DDoS attacks, making it comfortable for intruders to steal private data. 

The Bottom Line 

Guessable passwords, lack of device management, data transfer and storage insecurity, insufficient privacy protection, using outdated components, insecure ecosystem interfaces, weak network services, poor update management are few common IoT common threats that you must overcome with IoT security testing services. 

Author Bio: 

Claire Mackerras, is a Senior QA Engineer & Editor associated with Bugraptors specialized in quality assurance services. She is passionate about writing on technological trends for manual & automation software testing.

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