The rapid expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and networks has heightened the susceptibility of both businesses and individuals to cyber-attacks. A common trend in cyberattacks is for attackers to turn their focus to supply chain attacks, which has now become a primary source of concern, especially with the increasing availability of IoT devices and new attack techniques.
In the latter part of 2022, numerous security weaknesses were uncovered in Realtek chips, resulting in a widespread vulnerability in a large number of network routers globally.
Palo Alto Networks (Unit 42) security researchers reported that they observed over 134 million exploit attempts within a span of 4-5 months. This finding is a concerning indicator for the state of IoT security in 2023.
In the absence of robust security measures within the supply chain, personal home and business routers may become vulnerable to exploitation by cyber criminals, potentially serving as an entry point into the wider network. As cyber threats continue to evolve, it is increasingly critical to implement robust security measures for all assets within a home or business environment.
While relying on the protection provided by service providers is important, it is also essential to have one's own defenses in place to effectively secure against potential attacks.
Here are some recommendations to help you secure your IoT devices and maintain their security posture:
1. Keep software up to date: Many IoT devices have an automatic update feature that should be enabled to ensure the device receives regular security updates. An outdated IoT device presents an opportunity for cyber criminals to exploit.
2. Use strong passwords: It is essential to employ strong passwords across all accounts and devices, including online accounts and Wi-Fi networks. To enhance security, a unique password should be utilized for each device, consisting of a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
3. Disable unnecessary features: Turn off features and services that are not needed, as these can increase the attack surface and make the device more vulnerable.
4. Network Segmentation: Inquire with your internet service provider about the possibility of segmenting your local in-home or business network as a preventive measure. By doing so, you can limit the spread of a potential breach, restricting malicious actors from accessing other devices on the network should they gain initial entry.
5. Monitor and manage device usage: Regularly monitor your IoT devices for any suspicious activity, additionally, limit access to these devices and manage who is able to configure or make changes to them.
In conclusion, the increasing popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and networks has made it more important than ever to take proactive measures to protect against cyber-attacks.
The tips mentioned in this blog are an excellent starting point to secure your IoT devices, and while implementing these measures will greatly enhance their security posture, it may not be feasible for everyone to dedicate the necessary time to continuously monitor their systems.
In such cases, engaging the services of a professional cyber security firm can provide peace of mind and ensure the security of your assets.
Author: W. Scheepers