Why Do Cybercriminals Target IoT Devices?

The Internet of Things – or IoT – is any device that is connected to the internet to provide a much larger function. Devices like setting an alarm that will tell a coffee maker to start brewing automatically once someone is downstairs.

These are all very convenient things that enrich people’s lives. They’ve been such a craze that even businesses now have integrated many IoT devices but they also provide serious security risks in the process.

IoT Devices Are Targeted For One Big Reason: Sensors

One of the aspects of IoT is through the advanced use of sensors. This is what makes IoT so helpful, but it can also provide serious problems. Sensors collect and act upon data. While IoT can potentially create new revenue streams, optimize and enhance customer experience, and be affordable, the vast collection of data means it can cause far more damage when more IoT devices are in use.

IoT Major Security Weaknesses

Whenever a new feature is added to an IoT, it needs to gather more and new data. This opens multiple pathways for cybercriminals to target those devices. Hackers and cybercriminals will use any avenue to get into companies and so a business using IoT devices can put itself at risk.

The huge spike in attacks in recent years is a clear sign since employees are using many of these devices at home and were forced to work from home due to health mandates.

Beyond the environment being perfect for hackers to target their attacks, these devices are also at risk because of common human slip-ups. When developers are designing these devices, it can be very easy for them to make mistakes. And if the device is connected to one or more data streams, those problems multiply.

It gets worse if these devices are not updated or tested regularly. Strong and successful IoT devices do this, but not every developer does this. Furthermore, not every developer is going to catch every problem. Some of the most common threats in IoT are:

  • Poor defaults
  • Faulty upgrade paths
  • Excess computing power

What Can Be Done To Better Protect These Devices?

The only option in this situation is to be proactive with the IoT devices that are being used. Some ideal ways to protect the devices are:

  • Centralized protection – companies and leaders have a better understanding of the way IoT devices work and they need to incorporate a top-down solution.
  • Cybersecurity innovation – companies are willing to collaborate on this effort, but there is a lack in security. If data governance breaks down, then there will be more problems.
  • Implementing active standards – right now, experts warn that a universal standard is going to take some time. Currently, businesses are still responsible for ensuring information is safe and that systems are running. People can hold businesses accountable for those things.

Mtek Digital Managed Business Service

Mtek Digital provides help with virtually any business technology requirement. From IT services to Web and Video Marketing, we’re capable of servicing the tech industry throughout Canada. Contact us today.