3 security flaws in devices and IoT that need fixing
Rapid changes in how Internet of Things (IoT) devices around us interact with each other have created a landscape defined by unprecedented security vulnerabilities. There are three main security concerns with them and some possible fixes.
In December 2020, Forescout identified 33 vulnerabilities impacting four open source TCP/IP stacks. These are used by millions of devices around the world. They allow attackers to target a smart home or an automated industrial environment and use nearly any device as an entry point into the network.
According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach is just under $4 million, and it takes organizations an average of 280 days to identify and contain a breach. Meanwhile, the destructive potential of botnets has grown over the past few years. They propagate malware, mount distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and spread disinformation on social media.
Problem 1: Unsecured API Connections
Application programming interfaces are widely used for devices to communicate with one another but are rarely built with robust security. For instance, when a data analyst directly accesses a database, most security systems will log that user’s name and role. But an external user may not have to offer those credentials. So, two log entries can be as such:
● John_Smith: Data Analyst – 172.20.118.97
● App_User: Service Account – 172.20.0.159
Only one of these gives you useful information about the user’s identity. If your smart devices and IoT equipment don’t collect useful data, you lack edge-to-end network visibility.
Cybercriminals scour the Internet for exposed API tokens. It’s one of the easiest ways to quickly create and leverage an enormous botnet made up of zombie IoT devices.
How to Solve API Connection Issues
Security engineers and enterprise IT teams should treat apps and APIs like data gateways. This means reviewing API connections to make security-oriented changes.
If an IoT device has any external connection capacity, it should be configured to securely categorize incoming user requests and block unauthorized ones. Developers need to inform security professionals about “shadow APIs” that might go unnoticed. Teams must work together to identify deprecated and outdated APIs.
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