The vulnerability of networks and systems that are being used either in a personal capacity or in a professional setting is always a legitimate concern. Hackers may want to gain access to personal data like credit card information, social security numbers, or other sensitive material, and that is why robust security measures must always be in place to keep that from happening. This is true for the internet of things as well.

Although the Internet of Things is mainly concerned with the interconnectivity of various devices, rather than the devices themselves, that does not mean that it cannot be compromised by a skilled hacker with ill intentions which is why it’s vital to understand what can make an IoT device vulnerable so that the appropriate measures to protect it may be taken.


Insecure Web Interface

A web interface that is less than secure for whatever reason is the main area where hackers can try to gain access to an internet of things device or operating system. Specifically, weak account lockout settings can present a vulnerability, as can poor session management or cross-site scripting (XSS). The administrators of the internet of things devices should also look toward credentials that could be exposed during cross-network traffic. Weak default credentials and account enumeration may also be problematic.


What Can be Done About It?

What steps can be taken to be sure IoT devices and systems are as safe as possible? Ensuring an account lockout after 3-5 failed login attempts is a good place to start. Not allowing the use of weak passwords is an obvious one as well. Administrators should be sure that there is no way for credentials to be exposed during external or internal network traffic. The web interface should be checked to see that it is not susceptible to CSRF, SQLi, or XSS. The password recovery mechanisms should also be robust. They should never be allowed to supply an attacker with information indicating a valid account. Finally, during the initial system setup, default usernames and passwords should be eliminated once new ones have been created.  


Care Must be Taken

Many hackers do what they do for profit, as identity theft is rampant. Others, however, seem to enjoy crashing websites and generally creating havoc online for no other reason than because they are capable of doing it. These anarchistic leanings, though, shouldn’t matter to the administrators of IoT devices and networks. Their only concern should be setting up strong safeguards against malicious mischief of which hackers are capable. This is true regardless of whether the IOT networks and devices are being used in a professional or private setting, as there are hackers who have no compunction about targeting both.