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6 minutes read

IoT Security Issues and How to Overcome Them

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
6 minutes read

When it comes to the Internet of Things, in particular with apps, IoT security issues are an important aspect that any IoT-connected devices need to address. If such matters are left unattended, important data breaches may lead to undesired consequences and security threats. 

For a start, it may compromise the devices involved; this can have huge operational costs for companies. It may also pose security threats to users and their data. Lastly, this may have a reputational cost on your company. If you want to avoid any of these, taking your IoT risks seriously is a must.

IoT app development, unlike other software development projects, is not only about building a powerful User Experience and everything involved with it. It also implies making sure that hardware and software security risks are properly evaluated and taken care of. 

In this post, we address some of the most common IoT security issues, why you should address them, and most importantly, some of the things you can do to minimize risks.

The Truth about IoT Security Issues

When addressing IoT Security challenges, many companies have the false belief that by evaluating risks and making a tweak or two, they will automatically be safeguarded against any security threat. The truth, unfortunately, is more complicated than that.

IoT security is the branch of IoT development that focuses on protecting connected devices across a network known as the Internet of Things. Through IoT security best practices, developers and other computer professionals make sure to test that IoT networks function in a secure manner. This includes making sure that IoT apps are properly coded, deployed, and tested to prevent vulnerabilities. 

Being on the look for IoT security challenges is such an important matter that IoT apps should ideally have a full-time security team. By doing so, companies can rest assured that, although they won’t be fully protected against any possible threat, they will at least reduce the possibilities of a potentially critical situation. Securing IoT apps is a continuous process, one that requires important resources. 

IoT Systems

IoT systems can be decomposed into two important parts: IoT devices and IoT software. Guaranteeing that IoT devices work is mostly associated with the hardware components. This is extremely important for any IoT-connected device. A failure at the hardware level can result in critical security situations, especially if there are industrial IoT processes involved. Having a production line working suboptimally or paralyzed is something that no company wants. The same goes for IoT medical devices. Putting patients at risk due to a system failure is inconceivable. 

On the other hand, IoT software also requires special attention. Although this is an often generally accepted fact, many companies fail to internalize that software is constantly changing, and although a security vulnerability might be solved today, things might be different tomorrow. This means that security risks are never going to be completely solved. IoT security threats are constantly evolving, and this is especially true when it comes to IoT apps. Developers need to guarantee that security risks are continuously monitored and addressed.

The Importance of IoT Device Security

As the number of connected devices increases, IoT apps will have to guarantee users more secure systems. A poorly built app has the potential to put entire systems at risk. This is one of the most critical aspects of any IoT system, and it is something that developers should take into account.

Building trust into an IoT network is important for numerous reasons, the most important being that users need to trust it, and if they can’t trust the network, they won’t use it. In order to deliver trust, IoT apps need to make sure that security concerns are taken care of. As more devices become interconnected, guaranteeing secure networks becomes a necessity for the entire IoT industry.

Common IoT Security Issues

When it comes to IoT security issues, there are a number of things that can go wrong. These are some of the most common security issues that IoT app developers need to address:

  • IoT networks that can easily scale when the number of IoT devices connected increases. 
  • Insecure hardware design embedded in an IoT device.
  • Data storage that is inadequately managed and stored in the Cloud. 
  • Vulnerabilities in the IoT app’s code.
  • Inadequate HTTP protocols and APIs. 
  • Server-side service interruption through a distributed denial of service attack

Minimizing IoT Security Risks

There are various elements that need to be considered in order to guarantee secure IoT networks. The best strategy is to use all of them to reduce the risk of potential security breaches in an IoT app. These are some of the most important aspects to consider in a successful IoT security strategy.

Risk Assessment

Performing a thorough analysis of the potential risks in an IoT system helps address vulnerabilities before they occur. A risk analysis should ideally be performed before an IoT app starts its development, but it can be performed at any moment. 

Quality Assurance

A robust Quality Assurance (QA) team is often part of a successful IoT security strategy. By performing the right tests, like penetration testing, development teams can look out for vulnerabilities in an IoT network.

IoT penetration testing allows developers to test an IoT network, helping them evaluate the system in general. By exploiting different potential vulnerabilities, both in the hardware and the software, developers can come up with potential fixes.

Data Storage

In order to build a secure IoT network, it is important to make sure that Cloud configurations have been properly set up. It is necessary to have in place a Cloud Security as a Service (SECaaS) philosophy. 

Security and the Internet of Things

When it comes to IoT security issues, there doesn’t seem to be such a thing as too much. Building secure IoT apps is an obligation that companies have with their users. Delivering them adequate levels of trust is a necessity for any IoT product that wishes to succeed. 

Securing IoT apps by implementing a complete IoT security risk minimization strategy is key to delivering a trustworthy and secure product. When it comes to security issues, there is a lot for a single company to manage. That is why many IoT companies prefer to work with an experienced app development partner who can guarantee them the necessary know-how and other resources to build a secure IoT app. 

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