The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a massive network of devices that communicate with one another. Although this interconnectedness brings potentially game-changing advantages, it doesn’t come without drawbacks. Chief among them: security vulnerabilities.
With this increased ease of use also comes the increased need for security and understanding of risk. Each point of interface represents a potential vulnerability for entire systems. Take a look at the dangers the IoT poses and how you can reduce your risk.
Dangers of IoT Network Vulnerabilities
Interconnectedness expands accessibility. If a hacker can spot a vulnerability in one system, they may be able to leverage it to get access to more sensitive data within the network.
Take the 2013 Target hack, for example. In that cyber attack, 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen — and it all started with a vulnerability in an HVAC system. According to reports, hackers stole login credentials from a company that provided HVAC services to Target. Once they were in Target’s network, they were eventually able to “leapfrog” into their payment system.
An HVAC system may seem harmless. Many people might not even know it can connect with the Internet. But these and other third-party systems can serve as gateways to more secure areas of a company’s network.
Gateway vulnerabilities aren’t the only risks to watch out for. In 2016, a malware called Mirai attacked a range of devices connected to the Internet, infecting devices down to digital cameras and DVR players. One of the biggest lessons taken from this incident was that no connected device is safe.
Other vulnerabilities that can leave your entire network at risk include:
- Default or weak passwords
- Poor authentication methods
- Lack of encryption
- Unsecured devices
- Poor cloud interface security policies
- Outdated software
- Inadequate physical security
Reduce Your Risk With Penetration Testing
Once you’ve shored up your basic precautions, like ensuring passwords are strong and utilizing two-factor authentication, you’ll want to test your systems for vulnerabilities.
The most effective way to do this is through a real-world simulation of an attack. This is known as penetration testing. At Sentek, our professionals will utilize the same tools and creativity that a hacker with ill-intent would to identify vulnerabilities in your system. Hacking your own systems allows you to find these things before a cyber attacker does.
Once these vulnerabilities are identified, strategic actions should be taken to increase security. As technology continues to change, so too will the methods used by hackers and pen testers. It’s essential to keep your organization’s security protocols up to date.
To speak with Sentek about how your organization can benefit from penetration testing, get in touch with us today.