Connect the dots: How to mitigate Cybersecurity risks and handle vulnerabilities in IoT app development?
This article will let you know about the cybersecurity risks faced by IoT app development companies and the risk mitigation procedures that must be used to defend against vulnerabilities.
Our daily needs like smart phones, tablets, smart TVs, refrigerators, security cameras, coffee makers, wearables and what not – can we imagine our lives without these essentialities? It is fact that the presence of IoT devices is increasing day by day. But, it is also becoming a major security concern for companies and the government. Besides, IoT is all about connected devices in one system and this opens multiple points for malicious attacks. So, what are the major risks that IoT app development companies face today? What are the different ways to handle the vulnerabilities? Keep reading to know more.
Existing cybersecurity risks in IoT
With the era of the internet, IoT devices are helping us by making our lives easier. However, IoT has its own drawbacks when it comes to the topic of security risks. More and more people are adopting IoT today. Thereby, the numbers of cybercriminals are also increasing. But, before going to risk mitigation methods, let’s understand the various cybersecurity risks IoT is facing.
Mobile technology risks
Mobile devices used to be a professional necessity for salesmen. Now they have become a necessity for everyone. The usage of mobile phones with their apps and functionality has expanded a lot. From downloading apps to sharing sensitive information on the internet, mobile devices pose huge risks.
Moreover, a variety of Wi-Fi-enabled devices exist on the Internet. This creates an plenty of data for collection, processing and analysis. This also gives rise to new risks. Further, public Wi-Fi networks pose a threat as anybody can use them, including hackers. They have poor configuration networks and duplicate hotspots making them very vulnerable.
So, IoT app development companies must include special devices in their strategy. This can promote corporate cybersecurity and data safety policies. Also, secure communication practices with mobile device management protocols and system maintenance with the latest updates and fixes can help in risk mitigation.
Privacy issues in IOT
Nowadays attacks can happen from public networks and private sources too. Hackers can intrude into the software system of cars, smartphones, and smart homes too. So, even though we take all necessary steps of precaution, cyber-attackers always find new ways to exploit.
Besides, if any IoT application development company has to target security, installing encryption models is a must. Also, there must be the erasure of all personal and identifiable information. This will protect the privacy of employees and keep hackers at bay too. Further, there must be an implementation of mandatory access control. It will secure networks against harmful penetration.
According to Statista, the number of IoT devices in use worldwide from 2009 to 2020 has been increasing at a rapid rate. In 2020, the installed base of IoT devices is forecast to reach a whopping 20 billion.
In fact, with a greater diversity of devices connected to networks, the risks increase too. Do you know that there are more than 3 billion smartphones and 8 billion IoT devices used today? It is clear the risk levels will only grow in future.
Though it might be a tough task to protect organizations against this risk, it is not impossible. Besides, the security of each node in a framework is vital for imparting security as a whole. Also, organizations must have a control system for checking of unauthorized devices. This is because it can lead to leakage of any sensitive information about your business. All connected devices must follow the security protocols for full security integration.
Effect of cybersecurity
From data leakage to malicious cyber attacks, the IoT network is very vulnerable. Some ways that can cause cybersecurity issues are private banking details and GPS tracking systems. Any of these could fall prey to hackers. Moreover, the consequences of a compromised system can be harmful to any organization. It can affect its profitability and efficiency.
That is why a company needs to take adequate cybersecurity measures. In fact, IoT application development companies must handle the security of all interfaces, mobile or fixed.Well, we have discussed the potential cybersecurity risks involved in IoT. Now let us know more about the strategies one must follow to handle vulnerabilities.
Strategies to handle vulnerabilities
There are so many risks associated with IoT. It actually presents a tough challenge for cybersecurity professionals. Security experts must protect their own devices and also find ways to defend against threats. So, how can one handle such vulnerabilities? Let’s take a look.
Introducing IOT security standards
Security of IoT devices has remained a constant concern for government professionals. Federal agencies have adopted many precautions and deployed sensors too. Yet, there still seems to be some loopholes for potential attacks.
There was a report released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology released in February 2018. It concluded that it is necessary to have a set of cybersecurity standards for IoT. This was to prevent hackers from exploiting security gaps to launch cyber attacks. In fact, the report stated that security for IoT needs tailoring of existing standards with the adoption of new ones. These can address the pop-up network connections and shared system components too.
Besides, with these standards, IoT systems will get rid of all gaps in the systems. These include cryptographic techniques, network security, information management systems and software assurance too.
Inventory management of IoT devices
Breaches can happen when IoT devices gain network access and have a foot in the organization’s mainframe network. Some of the common ways by which risks can occur are as follows:
- Not registering the device in the IT inventory catalogues.
- No standard operating procedure to add new IoT devices.
- Unwarranted access due to unmonitored devices in the organization.
One can cut these risks can to some extent by maintaining a detailed inventory of all IoT devices. These devices can be at factory locations, offices, government plants, etc.
Besides, a mobile device management system can update the inventory too. Also, network access control technologies can serve this purpose. Verification on a bimonthly basis will also be a good initiative. The more the information companies have about the devices on the network, the better it will be for them. Companies will be able to respond to IoT security breaches in an effective way.
Protecting data privacy
Any IoT app development company must have a quick response team that can deal with vulnerabilities and data breaches. The facility of receiving remote updates on IoT devices is vital too. It will reduce the potential threats to exploit or steal data. Moreover, companies must invest in reliable data protection and storage solutions. This is necessary for protecting users’ privacy and sensitive information about the enterprise.
Besides, the strict data privacy laws impose heavy fines for noncompliance. Some rules aim at the ability to demand the deletion of personal information. In fact, this capability must be a part of all IoT devices that collect user data. Also, IT companies must frame policies for data collection methods and data retainment. Further, security teams for conducting a regular gap analysis will be helpful. They can check the data generated by connected devices. This must include both flow-based and packet-based anomaly detection.
IoT Awareness training
From device manufacturers to IoT app development companies, awareness training is a must. There must be training sessions for all levels of the enterprise as knowledge about new technologies can enhance security. Moreover, it is important to invest in robust data protection solutions throughout the software development life cycle too. Also, embedding security into apps and devices and giving importance to security education throughout the organization can help in avoiding any pitfalls.
Soon, it is evident that IoT will be a part and parcel of our existence. The world is becoming an integrated information system improving the quality of our lives. Besides, huge amounts of personal and corporate information are available in the cloud now. Even a single loophole can help attackers to exploit and enjoy unlimited access to data. So, risk mitigation of such cybersecurity challenges is the need of the hour. Well, what do you think will be a good way to handle vulnerabilities in IoT development services?