what is iot security?
iot security is a subsection of cybersecurity that focuses on protecting, monitoring, and remediating threats related to the internet of things (iot), or the network of connected devices that collect, store, and share data across internet.
Often overlooked or downplayed within cybersecurity strategy, iot security has become a more pressing concern for organizations due to the recent shift to remote work due to covid-19. Now that people rely on both their home network and their personal devices to conduct business, many digital adversaries are taking advantage of lax endpoint security measures to carry out attacks. Insufficient iot protocols, policies, and procedures can pose a serious risk to organizations, as any device can serve as a gateway to a larger network.
Reading: Analysis iot crowdstrikeblog
what is iot?
In a nutshell, an iot device is any “thing” that can be connected to the internet. this includes traditional terminals, such as computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and servers, as well as non-traditional items, such as printers, cameras, home appliances, smart watches, health trackers, navigation systems, smart locks, or smart thermostats. iot is the collective term for the network of connected devices that are equipped with sensors, software, or other technologies that allow them to collect and transmit data over the internet.
over the last decade, iot technology has seen spectacular growth. IoT Analytics, a knowledge firm specializing in IoT research, reported that IoT connections such as smart home devices, connected cars and networked industrial equipment outperformed traditional connected devices such as computers and laptops for the first time in 2020. , representing 54% of the 21.7 billion active connected devices. The firm estimates that by 2025 there will be more than 30 billion IoT connections, which is equivalent to about four IoT devices per person on average.
examples of iot devices
At the enterprise level, iot devices also include industrial machinery, automation tools, the smart grid, or any other device that collects and transmits data over the internet.
iot security issues
iot security is extremely important because any smart device can serve as an entry point for cybercriminals to access the network. Once adversaries gain access through a device, they can move laterally throughout the organization, accessing high-value assets or performing malicious activities such as stealing data, IP, or sensitive information. In some attacks, such as a denial of service attack (two), cybercriminals will take control of the device and use it to overwhelm servers with web traffic, preventing legitimate users from performing normal activities.
Traditionally, organizations and consumers protected their devices through a variety of security measures, such as antivirus software and firewalls. However, these measures may not be adequate to protect IoT devices, as many cannot support the processing and storage requirements of such tools. As such, organizations need to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that protects against a wide range of cyberattacks across all devices, both at the endpoint and network levels.
iot security risks
Unfortunately, many IoT devices are not designed with security in mind. In many cases, these devices lack the processing power and storage capabilities to support installing additional security on the device itself, which means that businesses and users cannot protect the endpoint beyond security features. existing security. instead, organizations must rely on network security capabilities to prevent attacks, as well as detect and remediate threats as they arise.
Even those devices that support the installation of additional security measures may not be compatible with the company’s existing cybersecurity toolset. disparate operating systems and a variety of hardware almost guarantee that the organization will not be able to protect all connected devices using the same tools, policies, and procedures.
furthermore, iot devices, just like traditional terminals, require patches and updates to the operating system. the large number of connected devices makes it difficult for organizations to manage this activity, especially if the devices are owned by employees.
Finally, connected devices may not require strong password practices, a point that is compounded by the fact that many people underestimate the risk posed by non-traditional connected devices.
iot security best practices
iot security is part of the organization’s overall cybersecurity strategy.
For private users, it’s important to treat connected devices with the same level of security as you would a traditional endpoint, such as a computer or smartphone. for this, we recommend:
- stay current with all required operating system patches and updates for the connected device.
- use strong password practices for all connected devices.
- enable the multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
- take a routine inventory of your connected devices and disable any items not in regular use.
At the enterprise level, IoT best practices also include:
- Develop and implement an iot device policy that outlines how employees can sign up for and use a personal device, as well as how the organization will monitor, inspect, and manage those devices to keep the organization digitally secure.
- collect and maintain a master list of all iot devices, both those owned by the organization and those owned by employees, to better understand the attack surface and the security measures required to maintain an environment secure.
- Consider implementing a cloud access security broker (casb) to serve as a security checkpoint between cloud network users and cloud-based applications to manage and enforce all data security policies and practices, including authentication, authorization, alerts, and encryption.
- monitor all devices network and take immediate action if any devices show signs of compromise.
- encrypt all data being transmitted to and from connected devices from its original rmat form to an alternative.
iot security tools
Because there is no single security tool that can provide consistent and comprehensive protection across all connected devices, IoT security requires a combination of elements from both the endpoint security strategy and the security strategy. from the cloud.
The following capabilities can help ensure the security of all connected devices and are considered a necessity for all modern organizations:
1. prevention: latest generation antivirus (ngav)
next generation antivirus (ngav) uses advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to identify new and emerging threats by examining more elements, such as file hashes, urls, and ip addresses.
2. detection: endpoint detection and response (edr)
endpoint detection and response (edr) is a solution that provides complete and continuous visibility of what is happening on endpoints in real time. companies should look for solutions that offer advanced threat detection, investigation and response capabilities, including incident data search and investigation, alert triage, suspicious activity validation, threat hunting, and activity detection and containment malicious.
3. managed threat hunting
Managed Threat Hunting is conducted by elite teams that learn from incidents that have already occurred, aggregate crowdsourced data, and provide guidance on how best to respond when malicious activity is detected.
4. threat intelligence integration
To stay ahead of attackers, businesses must understand threats as they evolve. Sophisticated adversaries and advanced persistent threats (apts) can move quickly and stealthily, and security teams need up-to-date, accurate intelligence to ensure defenses automatically and precisely adjust.