What is IoT? (or how my toaster talks to my TV)
Cybersecurity and privacy risks are considered one of the main concerns of the Internet of Things.
With the evolution of the technology sector, individuals are now able to prepare their coffee and control their televisions using their mobile phones. Also, industries are now more dependent on technology to improve the quality of services they provide to their customers.
These services and many more, are possible through the usage of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
IoT technology involves sharing data and information over various devices connected to the internet. These devices are not limited to wireless routers, rather it might refer to cellular networks or Bluetooth as well.
All devices connected to the IoT can share and receive data, with no human interaction and involvement through sensors and the implementation of intelligence.
Things could go wrong
Although IoT is an important technology that has helped us in many different sectors and domains, there are different concerns associated with it.
Cybersecurity and privacy risks are considered one of the main concerns of IoT. Cyber risks can result from low security measures that causes vulnerabilities in the IoT infrastructure. Such vulnerabilities can cause unauthorized access to systems, which leads to a breach due to several reasons that will be highlighted.
The first reason would be due to weak password security measures, by using easy to guess passwords, or default passwords.
Another reason is due to the lack of regular updates and implementation of security patches. The absence of regular updates to these devices causes hackers to identify more vulnerabilities and exploit access to IoT device(s).
The third cause is associated with the deficiency of data security mechanism used, such as encryption. For instance, if the data was not protected properly, any confidential and sensitive data can be accessed by hackers. This would result in privacy risks due to the missing cybersecurity measures that may eventually lead to personal and private data breaches.
Finally, weak IoT device management on a company level introduces a risk as well. If no proper IoT device management is taken into consideration, it opens a pathway full of vulnerabilities for hackers to access the data, and perhaps alter it.
To reduce the risks associated with IoT devices, three major actions should be taken. First, buy IoT devices from trusted sources. Second, protect IoT devices with complex passwords. Finally, keep them up-to-date and contact the retailer if you have any concerns or if suspicious activity is noticed.