The Internet of Things (IoT): Security Issues and Challenges It Raises

What is The Internet of Things?

IoT stands for The Internet of Things, which is a system of inter-connecting objects, appliances and mechanical systems with computers and the internet to allow for remote control and access.

The object can be anything that is fitted with a Unique Identifier, or UID, and assigned an IP address that can transmit data. It harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI).

How IoT Works

Objects fitted with sensors transmit data via an IoT gateway to a smart device—like a computer or smartphone for remote access or control.

IoT Applications

The history of IoT dates back to 1999, when the term was first coined. Although it wasn’t until a decade later that it started to receive more attention. Some examples of IoT in use can be seen in;

  1. Smart Homes
  2. IoT in Industries
  3. IoT in Medicine
  4. Autonomous Vehicles

Security Challenges of IoT

With all the internet connectivity, there have to be risks, and we need to understand the many challenges that IoT devices can pose.

  1. Outdated Devices

Some IoT security issues arise from software and hardware going out of date and not getting updated regularly enough. It leaves them exposed to cyber threats and makes them prone to attacks.

  1. Weak Credentials

Weak passwords make the systems more susceptible to cyber-attacks. Once the passwords are cracked, anyone can gain access to your devices.

  1. CyberCrime

There are many ways cybercriminals and hackers can gain access to your data, such as through malware, taking advantage of cracks in the system. Oftentimes, the users may not even realize their security has been compromised until it is too late.

  1. Data Protection

With our data switching through so many devices, any vulnerability along the way can cause our data to fall in the wrong hands. At times even the service providers could be sharing your data, either because you unknowingly comply with such terms or else because they don’t follow the regulations.

  1. Data Management

With so much data transmitting and storing, a single hiccup in the configuration could be critical and cause an outage. This would prove especially detrimental in the healthcare industry.

  1. Home Security

In the race to join the IoT world, smart homes and entire apartment buildings are being set up with smart technologies. That means if your system is hacked into, you could lose access to your home, while someone else gains it.

  1. Autonomous vehicles

With self-driving cars coming on the market, it will be AI taking the wheel, rather than a real person. With that, again arises the risk of skilled hackers hijacking the system remotely and taking over the controls.

Conclusion

With the things around us connecting directly to the internet, there immediately arise vulnerabilities. While IoT is undoubtedly a step forward in technological advancements in this digital age, there is yet a need to focus more on security.

What is your opinion on IoT and its security challenges?

Leona Rankin
Founder Leona has worked for years as a Corporate Security Manager until she decided to form the company. She deemed all information regarding security should be regarded as a necessity, especially nowadays where threat may be imminent everywhere, whether in the physical, or the digital world.