A few years back, the idea of controlling our household devices had just started. Few telecom operators had been providing such services at a premium, and these services were lapped up by a selective few. Since the 2000s, as technology progressed, more and more objects were being brought under control through remote devices. The IT behemoths brought the concept of smart cities to us. The entire city infrastructure is interlinked and controlled centrally. As of now, most of the major cities in developed countries have deployed the Internet of Things (IoT) whereby the physical devices are connected over the internet.
Now, comes the shocking portion. Like all programs on the internet, IoT is also vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Let us check out some incidents that happened in 2018.
“ Cisco Talos uncovered a Russia-linked botnet affecting at least 500,000 vulnerable routers and network-access storage (NAS) devices located across 54 countries but primarily in Ukraine ”
IBM and Threatcare identified 17 vulnerabilities from four smart cities built on leading smart city systems deployed across the world
Two renown security researchers disclosed severe vulnerabilities in the Medtronic CareLink 2090
It happens to be only the tip of the iceberg.
There are around 26.66 billion active IoT devices globally in 2019 that could increase to 75 billion in 2025.
It is also being said that 5G mobile networks will provide an impetus to the growth of IoT.
Major concerns in IoT adoption are data privacy and security.
Why are IoT devices vulnerable to cyber-attacks?
In case your device is connected on the internet; it is at risk of being tampered by cybercriminals. It is what we have heard for quite some time. We have witnessed malware attacks that have shut down entire power grids. And, attacks on healthcare devices like pacemakers that can affect the health of patients. Cyber attackers have always tried to stay a step ahead of technology. They have found out ways to bypass the security measures and cause critical damage to systems. Let us understand the potholes that hinder us from deploying adequate security measures to prevent such attacks.
Most devices are hamstrung due to resource limitations. They do not possess high processing capacities and memories. This, in turn, hinders our ability to deploy safety measures.
Budget is another constraint. In many cases, there may be a severe crunch in resources as some parts of the world are seeing a sharp reduction in budget. With such low budgets, deploying security systems across the entire infrastructure becomes difficult.
Experience is also a critical issue. The internal users of the IoT network may not be tech-savvy, and there may not be many specialists in the network. This area requires specialists who can use their experience to plug gaps in security.
So, what needs to be done?
Given the risks associated with IoT, it suits best to introduce some precautionary measures to prevent this from happening. We need to ensure that all communication is encrypted. And, how do we ensure this to happen? By ensuring that we use HTTPS for our networks. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure provides secure communication over the internet that no one can eavesdrop upon the connection. It prevents any manipulation of data by unscrupulous elements and finding out communication between networks. If any cyber attacker can get into your network; he can actually wreak havoc and can even shut down the whole system. With HTTPS, there is a public key that is verified and encrypts the data. There is another private key that is used for decryption.
What is the solution?
We have now understood the problem. The solution is buying an SSL Certificate, nowadays called an SSL/ TSL Certificate. TSL, or Transport Layer Security, ensure authentication, data integrity between two communication systems. It encrypts the communication between the source and the recipient.
What it essentially does is that it uses an encryption program that ensures that the cybercriminals would not be able to either read or tamper with the communication in any form. Let us now understand how an SSL/ TSL Certificate works. It is a certificate issued by a certificate authority after undertaking complete checks on the antecedents of the client. The certificate authority with the certificate encodes the information that is impossible to tamper with by anyone else. So, Buy SSL Certificate is the norm and one of the ways to prevent cybercriminals from accessing the IoT network.
As technology progresses, the cybercriminals will also try to improve their capabilities. We do not know the reason why they create such a nuisance and cause damage and harm to our resources. But it always pays to be on our guard. Given that IoT is so much sense that the hackers may get access to the entire infrastructure of cities and wreak havoc. Moreover, these governments are also trying to get even through such attacks.
To prevent such attacks, we should always watch our backs and take proactive action. It can start from having robust information technology processes, organizing frequent modules of training and workshops for employees, and having a secure password policy. These are the basics to ensure protection against hackers.
The moot point is that you cannot afford to lower your guard against cybercriminals. You really would need to count your losses in case they succeed. The loss can be enormous, and the repercussions could be severe. It is always best to have some budget allocated to upgrade your systems infrastructure. It serves right in buying an SSL Certificate for your IoT systems. It will ensure secure communications amongst the IoT network. It will help you in return by protecting your IoT systems against any cyber-attacks.