How Does Cybersecurity Work in the Internet of Things?

Over the past few years, it’s become apparent that technology is advancing at a relatively fast pace. More innovations are being introduced, each having highly effective uses in different industries. Take virtual reality, for example. Since its introduction, it became an incredibly powerful technology for sport, gaming, and even in highly technical fields like healthcare. You may even find this technology in places you won’t expect, like construction or agriculture.

But one particular technology that’s taking off recently is the Internet of Things (IoT). Considering its popularity, perhaps you’ve heard of it at least once, but what is it really?

 

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS

Experts put different meanings behind the Internet of Things (IoT), but it’s essentially a technology that deals with the interconnection of physical objects, hence the name. Any object or appliance that can connect to the internet or a local network can be a part of it.

Some of the common appliances and objects that you can find in your home that can be a part of IoT are HVAC systems, home security devices and sensors, and even coffeemakers. On the other hand, some of the common IoT devices used in businesses are smart locks, lights, and various dispensers.

Having your common appliances and devices connected to the Internet of Things is convenient. With IoT, you can collect and view the data that all the connected devices process. You can even operate or change their settings remotely through your computer or smart device.

The beauty of this technology is that despite its name, it doesn’t require you to have an internet connection from a service provider. Regardless if you’re in any NBN plans, IoT will still work as it only requires the devices to be connected to a local network.

Internet of Things

HOW DOES CYBERSECURITY WORK IN THE INTERNET OF THINGS?

Since the IoT technology connects all objects to the same network, if that network were somehow breached, all the IoT devices and the information they contain would be at risk. Imagine having the power to access and control everything in a person’s house without even taking a step inside.

For example, a hacker can access your security devices connected to your home’s local network. That person can freely disable everything and trespass on your home without you knowing. And more commonly, that person can monitor you through your security cameras and invade your privacy.

To protect yourself from any crimes involving your devices and appliances at home, you must tighten cybersecurity. However, cybersecurity in the Internet of Things can be a messy affair.

Pay attention to the manufacturer

For one, when manufacturers roll out products, they rarely focus on their security measures. If a smart fridge, for example, doesn’t have encryption, hackers can easily brute force their way into its system, which would then give them access to the entire network. And by having different devices from different manufacturers, you won’t easily know the security vulnerabilities you have brought to your home.

Your first measure to secure your local IoT is to only get smart devices from reputable manufacturers. Scrutinize every single gadget or appliance, and know if they have security vulnerabilities or not. Also, know if their user authentication and access control mechanisms are tight and will not easily let anyone in through brute force or spoofing.

In some cases, a device that doesn’t have known security vulnerabilities and exploits today may have them tomorrow. Remember that cybersecurity is a very reactive industry. Manufacturers and security firms often rely on victims of exploits and attacks to create countermeasures. So, you must keep yourself updated with the manufacturers of your devices for any security fixes and firmware updates.

Follow best practices

Another thing that you should work on is making sure that you’re following best practices when dealing with your IoT-connected devices. Here are some of those practices:

  1. Use strong passwords.
  2. Configure and strengthen your devices and network’s security setting.
  3. Set up a dedicated local area network for your devices and don’t let anyone have access to it.
  4. Only use trusted apps to access your devices and network.
  5. Don’t leave your phone or computer unattended.

It’s also a great idea to make sure the network itself is secure, and for that, you must ensure that your internet service provider, like OCCOM in Australia, is reputable and follows a secure protocol.

 

WRAPPING UP

The Internet of Things is such a fascinating innovation in the tech industry. It’s already proven its potential uses in numerous sectors, and there’s no telling how far it can go. But while it may work differently from other technologies, cybersecurity is still a crucial element of this technology. And as someone who’s taking advantage of this convenient technology, it’s mostly up to you in making sure that your devices are safe against attacks.

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Written by Anthony Simons

Anthony Simons is an internet tech specialist. He has been in the industry for more than 15 years. He shares his tech knowledge and skills through online blogging. During his free time, Anthony plays tennis and basketball.

August 2, 2021

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