5 Cybersecurity and Management Challenges of the Internet of Things
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released an eye-opening report about the Internet of Things devices and the issues that they may present when it comes to cybersecurity and management. It was found that many organizations are unaware of the potential risks that these devices are susceptible to and what they can do to protect themselves from potential dangers.
Below are just a few of the challenges and threats that come along with the Internet of Things and what organizations can do to protect themselves:
- Scaled Management – At the present, most Internet of Things devices do not support a standardized mechanism for centralized management that is accessible from one system. In addition to this lack of unity, the sheer volume of devices to manage is nearly overwhelming as they can range from clocks and air conditioners to health monitoring devices and watches.
- Array of Software – From firmware, real-time and standard operating systems, and applications, there is certainly a wide array of software used by the Internet of Things devices. This large amount of software can complicate device management for organizations and can cause issues throughout the device lifecycles in areas such as patch management, security updates, and overall configuration.
- “Man-in-the-Middle” Cyber attacks – Although all devices are technically susceptible to cyber attacks, Internet of Things devices are especially prone to “man-in-the-middle” attacks when using poorly configured or unencrypted Wi-Fi. In these attacks, hackers secretly relay and alter the communication between an attacker and a victim while the victim believes they are actually communicating over a private internet connection. This can lead to many different cybersecurity risks.
- Compromised Identity – The weakest link in the chain of connected IoT devices is the device itself. Hackers may be able to find a vulnerability in one individual device that can be exploited to gain access to the overall IoT network. Through this one device, hackers are able to begin a large-scale data breach.
- Lack of Interfaces – It isn’t uncommon for an IoT device to lack the application or human user interfaces for device management and use. When said interfaces do exist, they may not provide the full functionality of a traditional technological device, which can make management quite challenging. As of right now, there is a lack of universally accepted standards for Internet of Things application interfaces that can cause problems in areas such as data formatting, inoperability between devices, and issuing commands.
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