It’s starting to become hard to remember a time without the IoT (Internet of Things). Nowadays, so many devices and appliances are connected online that we don’t even think about how seamlessly everything is integrated.
These devices are ubiquitous, which means that insecure equipment poses a significant security threat to IT professionals trying to protect their networks. Many devices lack the protection associated with normal vectors, leaving them vulnerable to attacks.
Knowing why IoT devices are difficult to secure and the steps to take to overcome these weaknesses put network teams in a position to anticipate threats—and to properly secure the devices connecting to their networks.
Simply put, the Internet of Things is a collection of networked devices that are used to gather information. This group is typically divided into three categories; devices used to gather information and send it, devices used to send and receive information and act on it, and devices used to do both.
Devices used to gather information and send it mostly fall into the sensor category. Alarm sensors, light sensors, temperature sensors, etc. are all busy gathering data and sending it back to a central database for evaluation.
Devices that sent and receive information and act on it are what most people are familiar with in the IoT space; smartwatches, smartphones, printers, etc. They receive an input via Wi-Fi to perform a certain action. This could include anything from setting an alarm through a mobile app to sending a design to a 3D printer.
IoT devices that do both are contained systems that can take in outside information and make decisions about future events. They then send that information back to a database to feed an algorithm that improves the process.
These devices have vastly changed and improved the way the world operates in both business and daily life. People are more interconnected, processes are faster, and systems are smarter because of constant information gathering.
Securing IoT devices and the networks they operate on pose more challenges than traditional computers and systems. They have different infrastructures and systems and need to be assessed individually. Oftentimes, this doesn’t happen proactively, leaving them open to attacks.
Some reasons IoT devices are particularly susceptible to threats include:
In an ideal world, manufacturers would do more to inherently protect devices before they become available. However, understanding why IoT devices are so difficult to secure can help IT professionals anticipate some of the problems they may encounter when trying to protect their networks.
Here are some general tips for securing IoT devices and securing the networks they are using:
7SIGNAL provides continuous network monitoring, so interruptions and attacks are discovered early before they reach the end-user. IoT devices aren’t going anywhere, and the congestion and network threats that accompany them will only continue to increase.
7SIGNAL’s software continuously tests a Wi-Fi network for issues, minimizing downtime and maximizing device connectivity. Our solutions tackle issues proactively, which is a necessity for businesses that rely on high-quality network performance that can handle the volume of IoT devices and the security challenges they pose.
7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. The platform was designed for the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and government agencies and is currently deployed at Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Microsoft, and many others. 7SIGNAL continuously monitors the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more at www.7signal.com.