Security and Privacy IoT Vulnerabilities: The Danger of Too Many Entry Points (2022)

By Mangesh Bhamre, Plume Design, Inc.

While the Internet of Things (IoT) solves some important business concerns for consumers, it also poses significant risks because IoT devices are attractive targets for attack. IoT devices have a history of being vulnerable, they can’t be intrinsically protected like less constrained devices, and because they are configured by non-professional/layman users they are ripe for exploitation. Many IoT devices, including everyday objects like kitchen appliances, thermostats, baby monitors, and light control systems, have minimal security built in as compared to full-featured smart devices and are mostly unprotected.

Because they are inexpensive and of limited purpose, IoT devices may have unpatched software flaws. They often have resource-constrained environments with limited processing, memory, and power that make them challenging to secure. Users are mostly non-technical and often lack the knowledge it takes to manage the IoT devices on their networks.

The decline in the overall security profile of homes and offices makes IoT devices a low-hanging fruit for cyberattacks. Attackers can easily get a foothold on the device, exploiting a vulnerability like a weak password or other software flaws. Once a cybercriminal gets access to one device, they can use lateral movement techniques to find other vulnerable devices in the home and conduct severe attacks like ransomware, crypto-mining, password-stuffing, and remote code execution.

There is a critical need for an effective solution that can address the consumer’s security concerns and provide state-of-art, enterprise-grade security to homes and business owners. The solution should be able to proactively detect and protect against the security vulnerability which is the primary attack vector in IoT. Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are ideally positioned to play a critical role in mitigating cyberattacks on IoT devices by providing an end-to-end, integrated solution encompassing discovery, detection, monitoring, and resolution.

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