20 Steps You Can Take To Protect Your IoT Devices From Cyberattacks
- By Jenny Lain
- Internet of Things
Did you know that the number of IoT devices surpassed the number of non IoT devices in 2020? Did you know that 75% of all devices in the world would be IoT devices by 2030? Did you know that there are more than 13 billion connected devices in the world and that number will surpass the 25 billion mark by 2030?
According to IoT statistics, IoT spending has already surpassed the $1 trillion mark. The number of IoT platforms has also doubled in the last four years, from 260 way back in 2015 to 620 in 2019. All this has brought IoT in the limelight and helped it to gain the attention of cybercriminals. The number of attacks targeting IoT devices has also grown exponentially in recent years.
In fact, attacks on IoT devices that could disrupt critical operations is one of the biggest security concerns regarding the internet of things. How can businesses protect your IoT devices from cybersecurity attacks in such a situation? That is exactly what we will discuss in their article.
In this article, you will learn about 20 steps you can take to protect your IoT devices from cyberattacks.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnected network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings, and other objects that are embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity, allowing them to collect and exchange data. While the IoT brings numerous benefits, it also introduces new security risks, as these devices can potentially be hacked and used to compromise the security of the entire network.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnected network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items that are embedded with sensors, software, and network connectivity, allowing them to collect and exchange data.
Advantages of IoT:
- Increased efficiency and productivity: IoT devices can automate tasks, collect and analyze data, and provide insights that can help businesses and individuals increase efficiency and productivity. For example, smart home devices can automate tasks such as turning off lights and adjusting the temperature, freeing up time for other activities.
- Improved decision-making: IoT devices can collect and analyze large amounts of data, providing insights that can help individuals and businesses make more informed decisions. For example, data collected by wearable fitness devices can help individuals to better understand their health and make lifestyle changes to improve their overall well-being.
- Better customer experiences: IoT devices can enhance customer experiences by providing personalized experiences and real-time insights. For example, retailers can use IoT devices to collect data on customer preferences and behaviors, allowing them to tailor their offerings and provide a more personalized shopping experience.
- Increased safety and security: IoT devices can be used to improve safety and security. For example, smart home security systems can detect and respond to potential threats, providing peace of mind for homeowners.
Disadvantages of IoT:
- Privacy concerns: The collection and storage of large amounts of personal data by IoT devices can raise privacy concerns. For example, wearable fitness devices can collect sensitive personal information, such as health data, which can be vulnerable to hacking and misuse.
- Security risks: IoT devices can be vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can result in the theft of personal information, disruption of services, or other harm. For example, hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in smart home devices to gain unauthorized access to a network and steal sensitive information.
- Complexity: The sheer number and variety of IoT devices and the complexity of the networks and systems they operate on can make it difficult to manage and maintain them. For example, individuals may struggle to keep up with software updates, security patches, and other maintenance tasks for their IoT devices.
- Cost: The cost of IoT devices can be a barrier to adoption for some individuals and businesses. For example, the cost of smart home devices, such as security systems and home automation systems, can be a significant investment.
In short, the Internet of Things offers many benefits but it also presents challenges, such as privacy concerns, security risks, and cost. To maximize the benefits of IoT while minimizing the risks, it's important to implement robust security measures and stay informed about the latest threats and best practices for protecting IoT devices.
20 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your IoT Devices From Cyberattacks
Here are 20 steps you can take to protect your IoT devices from cyberattacks:
Use strong and unique passwords:
The first line of defense against cyberattacks is a strong password. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters to create a unique password for each of your IoT devices. Avoid using the same password for multiple devices and avoid using easily guessable passwords such as "password" or "123456."
Enable two-factor authentication:
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code sent to your phone or email in addition to your password when logging in to your account. This makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to your account, even if they manage to guess your password.
Keep your devices and software up to date:
Manufacturers frequently release updates for their IoT devices to fix security vulnerabilities and improve performance. Make sure to keep your devices and software up to date with the latest patches and updates to ensure that you have the best possible protection against cyberattacks. Older technologies are at a higher risk so if you are still using cheap dedicated server hosting, you should upgrade to VPS norway or cloud.
Use a secure connection:
To protect the data transmitted between your IoT devices and the Internet, use a secure connection such as a virtual private network (VPN) or a secure wireless network. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, as they are often unsecured and vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Use a firewall:
A firewall is a security system that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. You can use a firewall to protect your IoT devices from cyberattacks by blocking unwanted traffic and only allowing traffic from trusted sources.
Encrypting your data helps to protect it from being accessed by unauthorized parties. Make sure to enable encryption on your IoT devices to ensure that your data is secure when it is transmitted over the Internet. This will minimize the risk of man in the middle attacks and spoofing. As a result, threat actors cannot steal your data during motion or spy on the communication between IoT devices.
Use a separate network for your IoT devices:
To further protect your IoT devices, consider setting up a separate network for them. This will help to isolate your IoT devices from the rest of your network and make it harder for hackers to gain access to them. Even if the hacker manages to compromise one network, it will not disrupt your business operations as the other network will still be up and running. You can also invest in a cheap dedicated server to host sensitive files.
Use a security camera:
A security camera can help you to monitor your home or office and detect any suspicious activity. This can alert you to potential cyberattacks and allow you to take action to prevent them. Since most IoT attacks target unattended IoT devices, it will help you mitigate the risk via constant monitoring.
Use a security solution:
There are various security solutions available that can protect your IoT devices from cyberattacks. These include antivirus software, intrusion prevention systems, and malware scanners. Consider using one of these solutions to provide an additional layer of protection for your devices.
Educate yourself and your employees:
It's important to stay informed about the latest cyber threats and best practices for protecting your IoT devices. Make sure to educate yourself and your employees about the steps you can take to protect your devices from cyberattacks, and encourage them to report any suspicious activity.
Disable Universal Plug and Play (UPnP):
UPnP is a protocol that allows IoT devices to automatically discover and connect to other devices on a network. While this feature can be convenient, it can also be a security risk. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in UPnP to gain unauthorized access to your devices and steal sensitive information. To reduce this risk, consider disabling UPnP on your router and restricting communication between devices.
Limit device access:
By limiting the number of devices that have access to your IoT network, you can reduce the attack surface and minimize the risk of cyberattacks. For example, you can restrict access to only those devices that require it, such as smart home devices and security cameras. This will help to prevent unauthorized devices from connecting to your network and reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
Segment your network:
Segmenting your network into smaller sub-networks can help to isolate your IoT devices and prevent them from communicating with the rest of your network. This can help to prevent hackers from spreading malware and stealing data. For example, you can create a separate network for your IoT devices and restrict communication between the IoT network and the rest of your network.
Monitor network activity:
Regularly monitoring network activity can help you to identify and respond to potential cyberattacks. This can include monitoring logs, using network intrusion detection systems, and using security cameras. For example, you can use network intrusion detection systems to detect unusual traffic patterns and alert you to potential cyberattacks. This can help you to respond quickly and prevent cyberattacks from causing damage.
Disable remote access:
If your IoT devices don't require remote access, consider disabling it. Remote access can be a security risk, as it can allow hackers to gain access to your devices from anywhere in the world. To reduce this risk, consider disabling remote access on your IoT devices and only allowing access through a secure connection, such as a virtual private network (VPN).
Use strong encryption protocols:
When transmitting data over the Internet, use strong encryption protocols such as SSL or TLS. This will ensure that your data is secure and protected from prying eyes. For example, when connecting to a website, look for the padlock icon in the address bar, which indicates that the connection is encrypted and your data is protected.
Disable unneeded services:
If your IoT devices include services that you don't need, consider disabling them. This will reduce the attack surface and reduce the risk of cyberattacks. For example, you can disable unnecessary services, such as file sharing and remote management, on your IoT devices.
Use a VPN:
When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, use a VPN to encrypt your data and protect it from cyberattacks. VPNs can also help to hide your online activities from prying eyes. For example, when using public Wi-Fi, connect to a VPN to encrypt your data and protect it from cyberattacks.
Use anti-malware software:
Anti-malware software can help to protect your IoT devices from malware and other cyber threats. Consider using anti-malware software on your devices to provide an additional layer of protection. For example, you can install anti-malware software on your IoT devices and regularly run scans to detect and remove malware.
Conduct regular security audits:
Regularly conducting security audits can help you to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities in your IoT devices. This can include conducting penetration testing, conducting code reviews, and reviewing network logs. For example, you can conduct regular security audits of your IoT
By following these 10 steps, you can help to protect your IoT devices from cyberattacks and ensure the security of your entire network. Remember to regularly review and update your security measures to stay ahead of the latest threats and keep your devices safe. It is important to be proactive in securing your IoT devices to prevent potential breaches and protect your personal and sensitive information. By taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure that your IoT devices are used safely and securely.