The Internet of Things is a concept that has become increasingly integrated into the lives of consumers. It encompasses the idea of connecting nearly everything to the Internet, such as home appliances and pedometers. More items such as these are becoming Internet-compatible and people are using smartphone applications for easier access.
However, there are a variety of concerns about the cybersecurity of the IoT(Internet of Things). Forbes mentioned that everything connected to the Internet is at risk of being hacked, and many IoT items aren't checked for vulnerabilities since the risk isn't taken very seriously.
Insecure and undeveloped
The IoT has been deemed extremely insecure for a variety of reasons. According to a blog post by Bruce Schneier, an internationally renowned security technologist, the companies that are installing computers on refrigerators and other consumer devices have no capability to fix or research the vulnerabilities in the systems they provide. What's more, the manufacturers that produce the computer chips required to facilitate a connection to the IOT don't often have their brand names on the finished product. This acts as an obstacle in terms of communications between companies producing IoT devices and those that manufacture the computers within them.
"IoT is a very fast-moving space, and the pressure on companies to get new things to market almost invariably comes at the [expense] of proper security practices," Casey Ellis, CEO of Bugcrowd, a cybersecurity company that assesses vulnerabilities, told Forbes. "On top of this, many of the devices are built on top of open source libraries and components, which themselves have vulnerabilities which are discovered on a regular basis."
Schneier stressed that the way IoT products are produced does not allow anyone to check cybersecurity vulnerabilities between manufacturing and selling. IoT devices typically have no updates or patches, and they can be on the Internet for years without security improvements, if any protection at all.
Securing technology and making it safer
It's easy to see how the acknowledgment that IoT devices are insecure is alarming.
"Devices which perform a critical function (e.g. locking a door, activating a smoke alarm, controlling a power outlet) and ones that impact privacy (e.g. video cameras) are more likely to be targeted by attackers looking for vulnerabilities," Ellis told Forbes.
The only way to solve this issue seems to be to conduct better research on IoT devices and manufacturers. Any company that has IoT products within its offices should involve IT to gain strict control of all technology in the business. Forbes recommended IT departments stay aware of all new devices in any part of the organization, since something as simple as an IoT item for turning on lights can be a risk to the entire company network.
Cybersecurity has become a hot topic due to the various reports about recent breaches. Companies without any security plans are also being criticized. One of the first steps organizations can take is to use a secure email provider to implement email encryption and other basic necessities for a safe network. Businesses risk a huge chunk of revenue and personal data if they avoid establishing a cybersecurity program.