Neutralizing Security Threats to IoT

by June 6, 2016 0 comments

As IoT devices are growing from millions to trillions, threats such as malware, viruses and spam are carving their way. So, it is necessary to create robust IoT systems which can handle intrusion detection and neutralize the threats

Tarun Wig, Co- founder, Innefu Labs

The Internet of Things (IoT) market growth is rapidly changing. The internet is becoming widely available and the cost of connecting is decreasing each day. More devices are being created using Wi-Fi sensors and the technology cost is decreasing rapidly due to the mass production of such gadgets. This evolving scenario has created a perfect backdrop for IoT. The sudden rise in the number of IoT devices has also increased the need to secure the highly vulnerable devices. In fact, a majority of people are concerned over giving household appliances and gadgets access to personal information, which could inflict serious threats to their privacy and security.

In simple terms, IoT means connecting any device or object with the Internet. The list of internet connecting things is very long which includes cell phones, microwave, washing machines, headphones or almost anything you can think of. Any object with an on/off switch can be a part of IoT. Gartner analysts predict that by 2020 there will be 26 billion connected devices, which means IoT will evolve into a huge network of connected things. The network is expected to build a strong relationship between people-things, things-things, and people-people.

Increased IoT means increased threats

If we study the contribution of the IoT in monetary terms then Cisco reports confirm that IOT creates $19 trillion of value stake for companies and industries. And, as per the TechNavio report, the Global IoT market is expected to grow at CAGR of 31.72 percent from 2014-2019. Don’t you think there is a need to secure IOT devices? IoT is evolving rapidly and with time, it’s important to enjoy the use of these devices without any threats. But, as these devices are growing from millions to trillions, threats such as malware, viruses and spam are carving their way. So it is necessary to create robust IoT systems which can handle intrusion detection and neutralize the threats. Authentication is a very important aspect of internet security, which if ignored allows unauthorized users to access your system or device and steal data. Attackers today are using sophisticated and more advanced techniques to perform attacks, so the need for multifactor authentication mechanism has risen rapidly.

Key techniques to secure IoT

Apart from the usual username and password authentication, there are other types of security measures too, which can be used to protect personal and business information. The opportunity for authentication in IoT is to recognize the potential for enabling new ways of authenticating users via the devices and things that will surround us. The phone makes a powerful authentication factor because, for most users, it is always with them as “what you have” factor. Multifactor authentication has gained a lot of importance in recent times like Facial recognition, voice recognition, gesture-based authentication, security tokens, etc.

An example here would help us understand better, Isn’t it? Consider a smart car in which the authentication is performed on a smart lock. Validation capability is embedded directly into the smart lock and the authentication is split between a user’s mobile device and the smart lock. The user would have to enter a password on the mobile followed by a fingerprint scan on the smart lock to unlock the car. The secure lock becomes a standalone biometric validation server.

One needs to be aware of what kind of IoT device they are dealing with, and then only can they protect the data being shared or transactions being conducted. IoT bridges the gap between digital and physical worlds and multifactor authentication helps in identity management to secure objects, applications within the interconnected web.

 

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