Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the fastest emerging trends of the modern era. Matthew Evans, the IoT program head at techUK, described IoT as various devices connected through the internet that send and receive data to perform automated tasks. These devices range from smartphones to wearable smartwatches to simple cameras or sensors and many others.
5 Ways to Improve Mobile Security Strategies for IoT
Some argue that these devices have introduced countless conveniences across several aspects of our lives, whereas others are more concerned with the privacy and security risks this technology poses. The security and privacy concerns are not baseless since all IoT devices are always connected through the internet using several data points. It is better to ensure that our devices are well-protected and cannot be accessed by cybercriminals.
Not more than a week ago, a friend of mine was worried that her computer had been hacked using her internet provider’s service point. So, she wrote to the top ISPs in New Jersey and shared her concerns about increasing the security of their service points. Fortunately, her internet service provider upgraded their security to better serve their customers. Here are 5 different ways mobile security strategies for IoT can be improved.
#1. Centralizing the Access Logs
One of the most important and basic issues is when people connect devices to the internet without bringing it to the IT Manager’s notice. Their job is to keep track of who is logged into their network and what device is attached to the system. Unfortunately, this process needs to be upgraded so it can comb through large volumes of IoT devices that use a network. Since it has not been improved much, hackers can use this weakness to get into devices that are not well-secured and cause damage.
To remedy this issue, it is better to centralize all access logs. Moreover, security teams must be trained to identify and block out an attack on IoT endpoints. It is necessary to develop such endpoint protection systems that are not only capable of recognizing DDoS threats but can also block them.
#2. Encrypting Secure Communication
Very few IoT devices have encrypted communications embedded into their configuration and even those lack proper security. Most IoTs only use the standard web protocol using the web and simple text to communicate. This makes a great spot for hackers to target and attack a network.
There are several ways to fortify web traffic that is used for communication purposes such as using DNS security extensions, transport layer security (TLS), HTTPS, Secure file transfer Protocol (SFTP), and so on. Encrypted protocols should be established for the devices that connect to remote gateways, other mobile applications. Similarly, the same encryption protocols must be put in place for flash drives that store data to protect them against malware.
#3. Implementing Better Password Protection Policies
We use internet routers, sensors, network printers, and other similar devices multiple times throughout our day. It is highly disappointing to find out that majority of these devices used in homes, offices, and other places do not even require any authentication at all, let alone a multi-factor authentication.
To rectify this issue, it’s recommended to use strong passwords that are unique and have uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers, and at least one symbol. Another solution is using a single sign-on (SSO) software as it allows you to manage your passwords and limits access to them. Apart from that, it is imperative to spread awareness regarding privacy issues and secure usage of routers and other devices among users, especially if such devices rotate between homes and offices.
#4. Creating Devices for Security Purposes
Device manufacturers often neglect the importance of installing a strong security system into the design life cycle of products they offer. When devices get infected with malware in the process of the supply chain, it is because these manufacturers don’t implement proper quality control standards. Therefore, it is imperative to enhance security protocols throughout the supply chain for such manufacturers. Manufacturers can enhance the design life cycle of products by creating products that are specifically made for privacy and security.
#5. Using Restrictive Network Communications Policies
Another way to improve this process is by using restrictive network communications. It ensures that devices are as secure as possible from a cyberattack. Using a built-in firewall is also a good option as it allows users to be more careful with unauthenticated applications usage. Users should not be allowed to use standard TCP/IP ports to access IoT devices.
In Simpler Words
With the rising security risks related to IoT devices, it is of utmost importance that these security concerns be addressed as soon as possible. Various products and tools are now being made that allow users to operate their IoT devices without having a looming fear of data exploitation. Even internet service providers are reinforcing the security of their services. They now advertise the ‘enhanced security and privacy’ feature as part of their marketing campaigns. One such example is Spectrum Internet. Many other businesses and manufacturers are now addressing these security risks on high priority.