The Internet of Things, commonly abbreviated as IoT, refers to the many physical devices (things) connected to the Internet across the globe. The IoT landscape operates so that a device can represent itself and become greater by connecting to other objects with the aid of the Internet. Whenever we talk of “connecting”, most people think about computer devices, smartphones, or tablets. With IoT, just about anything is capable of connecting and communicating in a smart mode.
IoT devices are gaining relevance because of their ability to improve human lives and bring in more efficient business models. However, although IoT has been instrumental in improving human lives, they hold sensitive data and information, making them prime targets by hackers.
IoT users have in the past been victims of successful breaches and other data risks. According to Statista, 33% of IoT users have had security issues. Today, the internet of things cybersecurity is a popular topic of discussion. This article looks at the different perspectives from which the Internet of Things is evolving in cybersecurity.
Different Perspectives on How IoT is Revolutionizing the Cybersecurity Landscape
There are multiple perspectives from which we can approach the Internet of things cybersecurity topic. Indeed, the relationship between cybersecurity and the Internet of things goes way back, as far as the latter’s inception.
As new Internet of things devices was created and adopted for industrial and commercial purposes, their security vulnerabilities, online data risk vectors, and data generation were scrutinized during their implementation. This brought in the many IoT-related cybersecurity risks that we are witnessing today. It would have been ideal for examining these issues beforehand and not during implementation.
With this in mind, let us look at how the Internet of Things changes the cybersecurity landscape.
1. More IoT Devices Means More Cybersecurity Risks
According to a report by Gartner, there were over 5.8 billion IoT devices by the end of 2020. Statista projects the number of IoT devices to continue increasing to 25.44 billion in 2030.
In this exponentially growing world, all the devices connected on the internet increase the data risk surface by providing hackers with enough opportunities to execute the attacks. There now exists undeniable evidence that shows that our overreliance on IoT devices has defeated our ability to secure the devices. The attack surface is risky because if a hacker can lay hands on a single IoT device interconnected to other devices, all the devices become vulnerable.
The first thing an attacker will do upon laying a hand on an IoT device will be to look for any sensitive data contained in that device. Indeed, online data risks have been increasing following the increase in the number of IoT devices and related vulnerabilities.
2. Increased IoT Threats Means Increased Solutions
Data breaches often come with devastating repercussions, and the cost of a successful cybercrime is something you are not ready to incur. Successful data breaches come with high repair costs, tarnished reputation, and in most cases, you will find yourself out of business.
IoT users now understand the impact of cybersecurity risks on IoT devices and are putting up protective mechanisms to safeguard their devices and the data they hold. For instance, most of them have resolved to purchase SSL certificates, firewalls, and other cybersecurity tools. With an SSL cert installed, they can secure the data transmitted by exchanging it over an encrypted connection. They have strict access control policies, operate on the latest software versions, use strong and unique passwords to bolster their authentication mechanisms, minimize device bandwidth, among many other best practices.
Software vendors have also joined hands to ensure safety in IoT and cyberspace at large. For instance, SSL certificate providers and resellers now offer premium yet cheap SSL certificates that everyone can afford. The good news is that these inexpensive SSL certs offer the same level of encryption as their more expensive counterparts. The ability of everyone to afford SSL certificates and other security tools has made it easier to safeguard IoT devices, computer servers, and the cybersecurity landscape at large.
3. Intelligent Cybersecurity System- Automation of Security
To properly handle cybersecurity issues, you must have a system capable of working without or with very minimal human intervention. The security system should be able to automatically take proactive defensive measures in case of any impending danger. The number of IoT devices has made it entirely difficult for people or understaffed IT teams to handle cybersecurity concerns that come with IoT devices.
To effectively identify and stop security risks in IoT, organizations should adopt intelligence cybersecurity systems. Such systems will be able to stop security vulnerabilities and seal all the possible loopholes. Keeping the intelligent cybersecurity systems updated would also be essential to make them well-equipped to deal with the ever-changing IoT landscape.
4. The perspective of Security Training and Awareness in IoT cybersecurity
The increasing IoT security concerns have sparked a heated conversation about the role of security training and awareness in the security of IoT devices. As you might know, humans have, on several occasions, been the weakest link that has made it possible for cybersecurity risks to occur.
It is hard to deny that in the age of increased social engineering attacks such as phishing and spear-phishing attacks, reliance on human-based strategies to protect IoT devices is questionable at best. However, with proper training, you will equip all employees and stakeholders with enough knowledge to identify and deal with cybersecurity concerns relating to IoT.
5. Built-in Security
With the increasing number of cybersecurity threats targeting IoT devices, you will expect the latest IoT devices to come fitted with in-built security components. However, it will surprise you to learn that this is not the case. Most IoT devices come with very minimal or without any in-built security components to bolster their security. Users will have to purchase additional software to try and strengthen the security of IoT things. Several hardware and software solutions have proved effective in improving the security of IoT devices.
However, with online data risks associated with IoT increasing day after day and the general risk landscape worsening, we will soon see the situation change. It is now reasonable to think that user demands will finally be heard and taken care of. We hope that Internet of Things devices will come with advanced security components to protect them from vulnerabilities.
The internet of things cybersecurity teaches us to look at digital devices a little differently. The use of IoT devices has been increasing more recently, and so have the threats and vulnerabilities that target such devices. It would be easy to say that IoT devices have completely changed how we should approach cybersecurity. This article has explained the interrelationship between cybersecurity and the Internet of Things, and we must approach Internet of things cybersecurity from such perspectives.