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Internet of Things Security (IoT) Explained

It is expected that there will be over 16 billion IoT active device connections worldwide by 2022. But whenever new technology arrives, there always are intruders ready to take advantage of its weaknesses. IoT devices handle massive amounts of data and an insecure device can make this data vulnerable to security threats. Simply put, Internet of Things security has to be given topmost priority.


What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

By now, you must have heard the term ‘Internet of Things‘ or IoT many times. The IoT refers to the use of intelligently connected devices and systems to leverage information collected by embedded sensors in machines or other physical objects.

The very fundamental idea of the IoT is that every physical device around us can also become a computer that is connected to the Internet. What if we told you that IoT could soon be as commonplace as electricity in the daily lives of people?

In fact. the IoT is still evolving but it is already empowering people to interact with technology and enhance their lives. Besides that, essential IoT applications span nearly all key economic sectors including agriculture, transportation, health, manufacturing, and many more.

These applications or connected objects have data consistently gathered, analysed, and used to execute an action, delivering a wealth of intelligence for planning and decision making. So welcome to the world of the Internet of Things!


How does IoT work?

IoT devices are equipped with hardware like sensors and processors, which collect data from the surrounding environment. It is called data ingestion.

Then comes data transmission where the data is then sent to a cloud infrastructure.

Data processing comes next, that the software analyses the data via machine learning and transmits it to users via a mobile application or website.

What is next? Of course, it is time for the end-user to reap the benefits of the data in real time, thanks to data visualisation within an easy-to-use interface.

How does IoT work


What are examples of the Internet of Things?

Before we delve into Internet of Things security, below we are sharing 6 TOP Internet of Things examples you should know in 2021.


Fitness (activity) trackers

Do you know how much physical activity you are getting? A fitness tracker does. Fitness trackers are wearable devices, equipped with diverse sensors, that are either hip-based or wrist-based. They can look very much like a digital watch with a small digital display. Most fitness trackers track number of steps taken, heart rate, and also sleep patterns. After all, we think this is the technology that is going to be very powerful tool to get people moving more.

What sensors are in fitness trackers


Smart cities

A smart city is a city where traditional services are made more efficient with the help of digital technologies for the benefit of its inhabitants. A city’s smartness is determined considering different characteristics such as highly functional public transportation, progressive city plans, and environmental initiatives. Smart cities are adding digital intelligence to current urban systems, saving time, decreasing waste, and helping increase social connectedness.


Precision farming

Precision farming is a technology-driven approach to farming management that measures and analyses the needs of individual fields and crops’. The ultimate goal here is to maintain optimum profitability, economic efficiency, sustainability along with the protection of the land resource.

Traditional farming practices are area-centric which usually leads to the overuse of resources and uncontrolled waste production. Given that, precision farming can be seen as the most recent innovation technology based on sustainable agriculture and healthy food production.

What is precision farming


Remote health monitoring

Nowadays patients and healthcare professionals want health to be monitored outside of clinical settings. For that reason, remote health monitoring is growing in popularity.

In the most basic sense, it is the process of utilising technology to monitor patients in non-clinical environments, for example, in the home or at the office. This process requires a sensor that can measure specific physiological data and wirelessly communicate this data to both the patient and clinicians.


Real-time energy monitoring

Can you imagine the devices that work in harmony for your complete comfort? Please, meet home monitoring devices which use remote sensors, real-time weather forecasts, and the actual activity in your house within the day to minimise your monthly energy usage.

Some devices even allow you to instantly turn on/off any plugged-in device from across the globe. You remain comfortable and save money on your utility bills. We reached an era where energy saving is much smarter now.


Robotic surgery

New revolution in surgery? Absolutely! Surgical robotics is a novel technology that holds massive promise. This form of surgery enables doctors to perform several types of complex procedures with great precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional methods.

3 key benefits that are associated with robotic surgery include quicker recovery, less pain and shorter hospital stay. Nevertheless, robotic surgery is not an option for everyone and it may not be available at hospitals in your geographic location.

Internet of Things device connections worldwide


Internet of Things Security explained in 99 words

It is obvious that connected devices have the potential to give your business a massive boost, however anything that is connected to the Internet is vulnerable to cyber risks. IoT security is the act of safeguarding connected devices and networks they are connected to. At its core IoT security maintains the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of your IoT applications. Be informed that IoT security entails both physical device security and network security, and affects the processes and measures that are vital to protect IoT devices. Is your business ready to hold complete visibility and control of its IoT devices?


3 less known yet vital IoT security risks

All IoT devices need applications and protocols for communication and the majority of IoT vulnerabilities stem from insecure interfaces, leaving businesses paralysed.

  • Lack of integrated security: When it comes to the Internet of Things security, the biggest hurdle often turns out to be the lack of an integrated security solution. Unlike other devices, IoT devices are not usually equipped with built-in security solutions which increases the likelihood that these devices will encounter threats on a daily basis.

  • Insecure passwords: IoT devices are usually shipped with an easily guessed default password or no password at all, which makes it easier for hackers to obtain illicit access. Do you what is even worse? Some vendors develop devices that cannot be updated when flaws are detected.

  • Insufficient privacy protection: ‘How safe are IoT devices for my privacy?’ you may ask. Privacy is still among the biggest challenges of the IoT. IoT devices should handle sensitive information securely, and only after the consent of the user. Security Boulevard says some organisations use personal data without the users’ consent.


Summary

The IoT is the heartbeat of the 4th industrial revolution. That said, all Internet-enabled devices are vulnerable to being compromised and misused. So, IoT vendors need to have a holistic understanding of the risks in order to mitigate them. You already know what Internet of Things security entails and 3 important IoT security risks where one of the top security problems is related to privacy.

Businesses are investing in cyber security training, but yet they still face information security breaches. Why is this and how can we change this? Swiss Cyber Forum’s mission is to enhance the digital safety and security of our society through engaging training programs, events, and education. Also, keep an eye on our weekly blog posts to solidify your knowledge and be aware of current good practices in cyber security. Why not start with our “Mobile Banking Security: Stay Alert and Protect Your Money” blog post?