The Internet of Things, IoT, refers to internet-connected devices which can interact with other devices or objects over a network. Besides computing devices in industries and the common devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones; you can connect objects with IP addresses to the Internet.
Household appliances, baby monitors, smart locks, smart TVs, cars, wearable utility devices and other devices with built-in computing systems can be connected to the internet. The computing systems embedded in these devices are not secured as the protection of these objects is not considered in their design. Although it has greatly contributed to making the world a global village, the insecurity of these devices poses a global security risk.
The Role of Network in IoT:
What is the role that networks play in IoT? By the year 2020, the number of connected devices is expected to have increased up to 50 billion. There is even a more surprising estimate which suggests that connected devices will be over 200 billion by the year 2020. This would mean an average of 6-24 devices for everyone on earth.
Cars, homes, and wearables are getting smarter. Modules and Sensors will constitute about 32% of every device that connects to the network. The IoT devices will be utilized in a variety of ways like energy production, transportation, and provision of healthcare. The network will provide power, connectivity, policy, security, and manageability at scale to IoT deployments.
Security Risks of the IoT:
These connected devices are beneficial, but most of them have exploitable vulnerabilities. These devices are not secured, and access to them is rarely restricted. As a result of the insecurity, traffic to the smart devices cannot be monitored.
The built-in computing systems in connected devices do not have adequate security functionality. These products have vulnerabilities that can enable anyone to control them remotely. Cyber criminals and blackhat hackers can control smart devices with a no more than an IP address. Also, a website exists through which these criminals can access cameras and see whatever the camera owners are viewing.
Users of interconnected devices must be vigilant as long as these devices are connected to the internet. They should be aware of all the risks involved in using such devices. Some places prone to risks include; home security systems connected cars, smart fridges, smart locks, and smart light bulbs; yes, light bulbs. Criminals may attack users online or physically. Though some of these devices are used to secure homes, they can also compromise the safety of users, not just the building. With the popularity in the use of IoT devices, incidents of attacks on smart homes have been on a high. Car hacking has been on the increase. Traffic light controls, healthcare services, and industrial system are also at high risks.
Given the verticals it is expected to be deployed in, it is important to secure the IoT infrastructure. Recent attacks on the Dyn DNS servers, which brought down Amazon, Twitter and Netflix, originated from Mirai botnet infected cameras. The network needs to evolve to be able to protect these devices. It needs to secure the devices from malware and also needs to protect the application servers and network against attacks from infected IoT devices.
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