Top 10 IoT Vulnerabilities of 2019

If you’re a manufacturer or developer of IoT devices, you should follow all existing and developing IoT trends! There are a number of pitfalls that you must be aware of before releasing any product. This list (below) are the things that you should be cognizant of beforehand. If you’re a consumer of IoT products, then there are vulnerabilities that you should be aware of before you purchase anything.

Of course, you know how to automate your home with IoT. But this list emphasizes simplicity over everything else. Rather than putting together separate lists for threats, risks, vulnerabilities, consumers, enterprises, this list was put together to encompass it all. These are the tops things for you to be aware of, so that you avoid falling victim to malicious threats.

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Today, you will find that there are tons of different organizations out there that cover tips and guidance on IoT security. These guides are tailored to different audiences. For this article, I thought that a single list that addresses the main priorities for the consumer, manufacturer, and any other demographic that has an interest in IoT, would be best suited.

1. Default, Weak Passwords

This is basically the use of default passwords, in most cases, that are easily brute-forced attacked. Once the hacker gains access to the device, they can deploy their backdoor virus, which will give them unauthorized access to the functionality of the device. So, changing passwords is one of the first things, the consumer should do, and developers should look to use more complex default passwords.

2. Use of Outdated & Insecure Components.

The use of software components or libraries, that are so outdated that they could act as a compromise to the device itself. This may include outdated operating system platforms, certain third-party tools and applications, or an outdated or compromised hardware component.

3. Insecure Network Services

IoT devices typically come with built-in tools, used for testing and diagnostics, along with other services for debugging. However, these maintenance tools, are usually minimally tested, which means, they can be easily exploited, if you know how. This essentially means, IoT devices that have a lot of features are potentially vulnerable to the security pitfalls that hackers like to exploit.

4. Updates and Patches That Are Unprotected.

When it comes to the development of these IoT devices, the manufacturer must ask themselves these questions. Will there be any regular patches of the device, to address potential security vulnerabilities? How will the consumer know if their device requires a patch? Will additional patches for the device have a significant impact on the device itself? How will the end user know that the update is actually a legitimate patch, and not a malicious file from a hacker?

5. Insufficient Device Management.

Minimal security support for devices that are in production, this may include update management, systems monitoring, asset management and response capabilities, all of which should be provided for, adequately.

6. Unreliable Mobile Interface.

The mobile phone is an essential device of today’s world. It’s for this reason why numerous IoT devices come with some kind of mobile interface. However, when you add a management interface to the component, all you end up doing is creating an additional avenue for cybercriminals to exploit.

7. Lack of Privacy Protection.

The personal information of the consumer that is stored on the device is not properly secure, which means it’s highly susceptible to threat, by cybercriminals, or simply by anyone who has basic access to the device itself, i.e. family member(s).

8. Unreliable Cloud Interface.

There are tons of different IoT devices out there that are capable of connecting to the Cloud. Which is a good thing, but the bad thing is that, it again, creates another avenue for hackers to exploit, with its additional management interface.

As a security measure, manufactures should look to using on-device management interfaces, as they are more difficult for criminals to exploit, since they operate behind a firewall or home router.

9. Insufficient Physical Hardening.

When there is insufficient physical hardening plans, this makes it easier for cybercriminals to gain access to your sensitive information, which they can use when attempting more brazen attacks in the future.

10. Inadequate Security Capabilities.

There are times when an IoT device doesn’t come as advertised. That means, the device itself doesn’t fully or wholly support the features that it claims to. As a result, this renders the device more susceptible and vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Features such as encryption, are things you should be on the lookout for, as a consumer. You can also be interested in reading our post on the most expected IoT trends for 2020.