Are your IoT devices easy to hack?

used with the permission of
by Stephanie Chan

Internet of Things devices are reportedly becoming easier to hack — Channel Partners reports that in 2016, a malware called the Mirai botnet took over household cameras in a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack, effectively shutting down the cameras. A botnet is a network of computers or Internet-connected devices that use bots to automatically spread malicious software.

The huge demand for IoT devices means lots of low-cost IoT tech in the market with little regard for security measures. The Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report also found that adversaries are exploiting these weaknesses to gain access to systems like industrial control systems or business process systems. The report also warns that organizations should see IoT bots as imminent threats.

With ITProPortal stating that 95% of electronics will be capable of being connected to the network by 2020, how should we prepare for possible attacks?

“IoT devices often just don’t have the system resources to defend themselves,” says Cisco Product Marketing Manager for Threat Intelligence Marc Blackmer, “So following best practices in respect to network security, such as segmentation, active security monitoring and response, are now more important than ever to mitigate the risks associated with these devices.”

Cisco’s IoT Value/Trust Paradox is a report based on a survey of 3000 consumers, designed to find insights on how to increase customer confidence in IoT services. This report shows that consumers, while they accept the IoT trade off of value of trust, they accept it reluctantly.

The report gives us three main ways organizations can help close the value/trust gap for their IoT devices:

  1. Establish a clear, concise data policy and share with users
  2. Take granular control of data—like creating an IoT platform that determines who gets what data
  3. Create accountability throughout IoT value chain

These three ways can help create transparency with consumers and enforce security standards throughout an organization. To learn more about how you can help protect yourself in an IoT world, check out Cisco’s 2018 Annual Cybersecurity report.