More and more things are part of the so-called Internet of things or Internet of Things (IoT)a concept that refers to the digital interconnection of everyday objects and that is currently used with a denotation of advanced connection of devices, systems and services that goes beyond the traditional M2M (machine to machine) and covers a wide variety of protocols, domains and applications.
The dangers and vulnerabilities of the IoT
It is precisely this concept of total interconnection through the Internet that can pose a huge risk for the user, since even if we have our mobile or laptop protected with AVAST and a few other antiviruses and programs, things like the Smart TV or the fridge that can connect to the Internet do not have this level of protection and therefore are easy targets to be hacked and open a vulnerability for a pirate to enter our network.
Thus some consider the IoT a potential security nightmare. According to OSI, the Internet Security Officethese are the usual vulnerabilities to which IoT are exposed:
- Device access credentials (username and password) that are configured by default and that in some cases they can’t change youand for different ones.
- When accessing the device control and configuration software, the device uses insecure encryption protocols that causes that all the information can be seen or that it can be accessed via the Internet (remote) without setting a security filter.
- There is no encryption or it is insecure in the communications that the devices carry out with the cloud, the server or the user.
- By facilitating the configuration of the device, there are parameters and security features that cannot be modified.
- In some cases, they do not have updates to correct security flawsd detected both in the software and in the firmware of the devices, because, for example, technical support has a certain duration in time, as happens with old operating systems or with the useful life of the device.
- In certain IoT devices, it has been detected the presence of rear doors or backdoors that are installed from the factory and that allow remote access to the device and modify its operation.
Tips to Protect your IoT network
Change the default credentials
Change the credentials (username and password) that come by default, since these credentials are common to the rest of the brand’s devices, and easy to find in an Internet search, which makes them a target for attacks. For example, the Mirai botnet infects IoT devices through the credentials used by default, installing malicious code on them.
Isolate these types of systems and the devices you use to connect to thems on a separate network, so you will prevent someone who accesses your Wi-Fi network from interacting with them. If you don’t need remote access to your network, disable remote management.
Protect all devices at a minimum with WPA2 and strong passwords. It is also important to protect the security of the router to prevent someone connected to the network from accessing it.
If you have a high level of technical knowledge, set up network traffic filtering to prevent unauthorized traffic from being directed to a specific device, or to the outside of the network.
It is recommended that the information contained or received by the device is encrypted to prevent theft, manipulation or modification of the actions to be carried out.
Run an antivirus
Perform periodic scans with an antivirus for infections, vulnerabilities, or any other threats.
Check app permissions
If you have IoT devices and you use their control and management applications on your mobile, check that the permissions granted are the ones you need and point -a photo enhancement app does not have to be able to make calls and send SMS for example. If not, disable those permissions that are not necessary for its operation.
Read the privacy policies of the devices you use to be informed about what information is collected, stored and used by the company that creates the product.
Keep the software of the equipment and the firmware of the IoT devices up to date. The more up-to-date they are and have the latest security patches, the more difficult they will be to hack.