In recent years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the way we live and work. IoT devices, from smart homes to self-driven cars, are becoming increasingly common in our daily lives. According to a report by Statista, there will be more than 75 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices in use by 2025. However, this growing network of connected devices also presents a significant cybersecurity risk. In this blog, we will explore the challenges and solutions of cybersecurity in the age of IoT for students and professionals, using statistics to illustrate the scale of the problem.
- Lack of security standards: The lack of universally accepted security standards is a significant challenge in IoT device security. According to a study by Gemalto, 90% of consumers lack trust in the security of IoT devices, with 65% of respondents voicing concern about hacking and data breaches. This lack of trust is partly due to the inconsistent security protocols used by different IoT devices, which makes it challenging to develop a comprehensive security framework.
- DDoS attacks: IoT devices are vulnerable to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which can cause significant disruption and downtime. In 2016, the Mirai botnet, composed of compromised IoT devices, launched a massive DDoS attack on Dyn, a central domain name system (DNS) provider, which disrupted access to popular websites such as Airbnb, Twitter, BBC, Amazon, HBO, and Netflix. This attack was one of the largest and most sophisticated DDoS attacks to date, illustrating the significant threat that IoT devices pose.
- Data privacy: IoT devices collect and store vast amounts of personal and sensitive data, which can be used for disreputable objectives if not properly secured. According to a report by HP, 70% of IoT devices are vulnerable to attack, and 90% of them transmit data in an unencrypted form. This data can be used for miscellaneous objectives, including identity theft, blackmail, and extortion.
- Physical security: IoT devices are often deployed in remote locations or harsh environments, making them vulnerable to physical attacks such as theft or sabotage. For example, a smart meter in the UK was targeted by thieves, who stole it and sold it on the black market. This highlights the importance of physical security for IoT devices.
- Strong authentication and encryption: IoT devices should be protected with strong authentication and encryption protocols to prevent unauthorized access. According to a survey by PwC, 46% of organizations already use multi-factor authentication to secure IoT devices, while 59% plan to implement it in the future. This highlights the growing importance of strong authentication for IoT device security.
- Network segmentation: Internet of things devices should be isolated from other devices on the network using network segmentation. This makes it more difficult for hackers to move laterally through the network. According to a survey by ForeScout, 67% of organizations have implemented network segmentation to secure IoT devices, while 32% plan to do so in the future.
- Regular software updates: IoT devices should be updated with the latest software and security patches. According to a survey by Microsoft, over 80% of large companies worldwide are adopting IoT solutions, stoking an “invisible revolution” that will reach 94% of enterprises in the next few years.
- Risk assessment and management: Students and professionals should regularly assess and manage the risks associated with IoT devices. According to a survey by ISACA, 67% of organizations have a formal process in place to assess the risks associated with IoT devices, while 16% plan to implement one in the future.
- Security by design: IoT devices should be designed with security in mind from the outset. A survey by Gemalto found that IoT device manufacturers and service providers spend just 11% of their total IoT budget on securing their IoT devices. According to them, 96% of organizations believe that security should be built into IoT devices during development rather than added as an afterthought. This approach, known as “security by design,” ensures that security is an integral part of the device rather than an afterthought, making it more resilient to cyber-attacks.
The growing number of internet of things devices presents significant cybersecurity challenges for students and professionals alike. However, by implementing strong authentication and encryption, network segmentation, regular software updates, risk assessment and management, and security by design, we can mitigate these risks and ensure that IoT devices are more secure. As the IoT continues to evolve, staying up-to-date with the latest security practices and technologies is essential to protect ourselves and our devices from cyber threats.
EC-Council University can help students and professionals with cybersecurity in the age of IoT by offering degree programs and certifications that focus on the latest technologies and best practices in the field. The EC-Council University’s Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security program covers topics such as secure coding, network security, and digital forensics, while this degree is embedded with industry certifications providing training in the latest tools and techniques used by hackers. Another course is the Master of Science in Cybersecurity, which focuses on advanced cybersecurity concepts such as threat intelligence, penetration testing, and digital forensics. This program is designed for students who wish to specialize in cybersecurity and gain an in-depth understanding of the latest trends and techniques in the field. Both of these courses can provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle the challenges posed by IoT-related cybersecurity threats.