Top IoT Security Threats to Care About & How to Protect Yourself

Jul 2, 2020Blog

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are vulnerable to threats. That’s why you need advanced internet security to protect yourself and your devices. There are three categories of security attacks:

  • Cyber attacker uses malware to target the user’s IoT devices to get to other systems (the internet network and all of the devices on it).
  • Cyber attacker guesses the user’s password to break into IoT devices.
  • Cyber attacker uses IoT devices to track the user’s location, online activity, gaining personal information and breaching privacy.

These are the security risks you need to care about. There are different types of strategies and tools that attackers use to break into residential and commercial IoT devices. Each fall into at least one of the three categories above.


Top 3 Types of IoT Attacks

Here are three types of specific attacks that you should know and how to protect yourself against them:

1. Botnets

A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices that an attacker has compromised with malware. This gives them control of all of the connected devices from a command and control center. Botnets allow attackers to break into systems, send out mass amounts of spam data, and spy on people and organizations.

How to protect against this: Botnets take advantage of vulnerable devices. IoT devices are vulnerable by nature and need to be protected to reduce risks. You can protect yourself and your devices by:

  • Regularly updating your IoT devices
  • Locking down access with multi-step authentication
  • Isolating all IoT devices on a separate network from your other devices.

2. Middleman communication attacks

Attackers will try to play the middleman in IoT device communication. This way they can intercept messages and take control of the communication to send illegitimate messages. This is how attackers can get from a smart light bulb to your personal network devices, leading to critical malfunction.

How to protect against this: In addition to regular updates, locking down devices and isolating devise, data encryption will help protect against attempts at intercepting and corrupting messages.

3. Identity and data theft

Attackers can get to your smart wearables, too. Through these IoT connected devices, attackers have access to mass amounts of data, which helps them execute detailed identity theft. This malpractice allows attackers to gain illegal access to your data.

How to protect against this: If there are data-collecting settings or connection settings that you don’t regularly use, turn them off. This helps reduce the channels that attackers have to steal your information.

It’s important to be vigilant of all types of attacks. These are top ones for personal device owners. But knowing how attackers get access to organizations is important as well. The principles are the same: They are all rooted in identifying IoT device vulnerability. Adopting these security measures is an ongoing thing.

That’s why it pays to invest in advanced security for your home Wi-Fi network. While you must protect individual devices, protecting your network helps reduce the spread to everything else connected to it.

You can easily manage and protect your home network with a system like OptimTM Managed Wi-Fi solution. Optim is a wholistic solution to every element of your home network and is equipped with the advanced security you need to protect IoT devices. Optim is available through select Internet service providers. Ask for Optim today.

For more information and tips like these, check out Actiontec’s blog.

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