Chapter 2: What are the identified IoT vulnerabilities that could hamper your IoT operations?
In this article, we will dive deep into what makes an IoT infrastructure weak in the first place.
Can we envisage the right solutions without precisely understanding the core issue?
From our point of view, here are the most significant vulnerabilities that hamper IoT operations:
Lack of IoT security management solutions and insecure default credentials and settings
IoT’s already widely used in specific industries. However, IoT devices are still used by more or less tech-savvy people. Many don’t realize the importance of solid credentials or don’t know how to set them. Sounds basic; well, this is what happens in real life and a straightforward reason behind many IoT vulnerabilities. Instead, many simply use default or weak passwords that hackers can easily guess.
Default configuration settings and credentials make devices just as vulnerable. An eye-opening number of users leave open ports and services, increasing the attack surface.
Lack of physical protection and update mechanism
IoT devices can be accessed physically, too, thus presenting an often neglected entry point. Devices’ inner components can be flawed or tampered by stolen IoT devices from the premises, hacked, and returned without anyone noticing.
Vulnerable software components
Many IoT devices need more than the basic security configurations when they are shipped to the market. Sometimes, these are overlooked as design flaws – more often, these are legacy systems and components from open-source libraries that are easily compromisable.
Low computation power
Most IoT applications are made to be light and cost-effective. The fewer data they process, the less power they need. The problem is that cybersecurity features require computational power. Often, IoT devices need to be stronger to run security scans and firewalls.
Weak applications and legacy assets are just some components that weaken the IoT infrastructure. There are also insecure servers, network services, and ecosystem interfaces. Criminals are always looking for communication protocols with bad or no encryption.
No IoT compliance framework
You must manage IoT devices throughout their entire lifecycle. The absence of update mechanisms and insecure access to patches is a common consequence of poorly managed devices. But there’s also shadow IT, which aims to circumvent existing management practices.
The Blackbox model paradigm
Complexity makes IoT systems less transparent. It’s challenging to monitor and eliminate a security threat as it enters and moves through the system when its components are opaque. Troubleshooting is ineffective in systems where the majority of components are black-box devices.
A cloud-based IoT security management platform that enables IoT devices network segmentation is crucial to hamper described IoT Vulnerabilities.
How attackers exploit IoT vulnerabilities
Each IoT infrastructure comprises at least five elements and four key components.
In between hardware and software, sensors and connectors, communication channels and interfaces, one entry point in the environment network is bound to be cracked. Attackers understand this perfectly, and we do as well.
Enterprise infrastructures are sensitive to outside threats. A corrupted USB file can jeopardize more than 10,000 interconnected computers and other devices in a corporate environment. Not to mention that it can put millions of ordinary people at risk who entrust the attacked company with their private data, even device credentials.
The same goes for other institutions where IoT deployment supports critical operations while providing internet access to guest devices (ex: common in universities and medical facilities).
Depending on their end goal, attackers can target BYOD and guest devices to get to enterprise networks or the other way around, ultimately. A vulnerable facility device, such as a meeting room tablet, can provide an entryway to the computer connected to the same network. If that computer is also used for business purposes, attackers can use it to reach corporate data or spread malware.
Attacking third parties with botnets
There are numerous ways to exploit a vulnerable network. IoT botnets are another phenomenon worth understanding, as it enables attacks that can be near-impossible to prevent. It involves not one but a group of infected devices controlled by cyber criminals without users’ knowledge.
With botnets, cybercriminals can use vulnerable IoT devices to attack third parties.
When overlooking all the weak spots and security risks of an IoT deployment, it becomes evident that the industry needs to build holistic solutions. The following article will dive deep into the well-known Mira Botnets attack use case, identify potential solutions to prevent such attacks, and build tomorrow’s IoT security management platform.
Source by Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/computer-science/system-black-box