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Increasing IoT Security Risks in an Increasingly Connected World

With the rapid rise of the IoT, there is a growing concern with the security risks associated with the connected technology. The technology is quickly being adopted into both the personal and professional setting and as the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, so does the attack surface of cyber-criminals to exploit.

The more people choose to rely on connected technology in their day-to-day lives, the more vulnerable they are to the cyber threats increasingly tailored to exploit vulnerabilities and design flaws in IoT. These security risks present very challenging issues for data security companies as we now not only have to protect company-owned devices but must also defend against threats targeting external machines that could potentially connect to the network.

Since software allows connected IoT machines to “talk to each other,” organizations have to worry about the loss of sensitive personal and enterprise information, which can lead to significant financial and reputational damage, massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks designed to take down major websites and more. These incidents often stem from misconfigurations, default or easy-to-guess passwords, and inherent vulnerabilities in the devices themselves.

However, there is a lack of regulatory bodies to implement industry-wide standards that will hold IoT device manufacturers and developers accountable for these omnipresent flaws. The most important rule of thumb for IoT manufacturers is to test security during each phase of the development process. Doing so will be a much easier and less costly way to detect any security issues during the prerelease stages than to waste resources fixing bugs after devices have been released on the market. Once development is complete, the devices should undergo rigorous application security testing, security architecture review, and network vulnerability assessment.

The security requirements of an IoT system are complex and often extend past the traditional information security requirements of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. A good start to addressing the issue is to scrap default passwords. When devices reach the end users, the users should be required to establish strong and unique credentials during the installation process. It is important to embed encryption capabilities according to the least privilege principle.

Another possible solution for organizations to protect their data privacy is to establish an incident response team to remediate vulnerabilities and disclose data breaches to the public. All devices should be capable of receiving remote updates to minimize the potential for threats to exploit outlying weaknesses to steal data. It is crucial to invest in reliable data protection and storage solutions in order to protect users’ privacy and sensitive company assets.

Companies look to their ITAD processors to be experts in many areas of data security. As IoT data security issues emerge, it is incumbent on the ITAD industry to remain abreast of these growing issues and the data security breach risks they represent. 

By Craig Boswell, President
HOBI International, Inc.

eScrap Beat Main

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