How Hackers Can Infiltrate a Business Through a Smartwatch – IoT Security

Blog / How Hackers Can Infiltrate a Business Through a Smartwatch – IoT Security

How Hackers Can Infiltrate a Business Through a Smartwatch – IoT Security

The world today is filled with devices connected to the internet. Both at home and at the workplace, there is likely to be more small devices connected to the internet than actual people. This is the Internet of Things (IoT). 

IoT devices have helped people and businesses in countless ways, and the Internet of Things grows greater year by year as more helpful devices make it to market. Most new devices are connected to the internet, to improve their efficiency and usability, as well as to provide new features that could only work with an internet connection. This is both a blessing and a curse, however, as oftentimes IoT devices are the least secure devices on a network. 

IoT Devices 

The types of IoT devices you may encounter whether you are at home, at a business, or at the enterprise level. At home or at a business, common IoT devices may include voice assistants or smart watches. Typically, any ‘smart’ device is an IoT device, and businesses often incorporate these smart devices in some way shape or form. At an enterprise level, IoT devices may take the form of smart automation tools or internet connected machinery. 

IoT Security Troubles 

The problem with many IoT devices is that they have a tendency to lack the security measures of other network endpoints or internet connected devices. Many IoT devices are produced to fulfil their purpose, and often neglect security measures. Because IoT devices are mainly used to send and receive data, they are prime targets for hackers

A lot of IoT devices, especially older ones, lack the encryption capabilities you might expect in most other endpoint devices. If a hacker manages to infiltrate a regularly used IoT device, they may be able to see all information that is received by the device. This is a problem, as many IoT devices are relied upon to transmit important sensitive business data. 

Nowadays, a lot of IoT devices come with some form of security out the box. Often however, IoT devices become insecure later down the line, as manufacturers stop updates for old devices, or owners fail to keep these security measures updated.  

Generally speaking, the more endpoints a business has, the more avenues a threat actor has to infiltrate a business. If an IoT device becomes insecure, it can allow a hacker to cause damage to a business in many ways. 

IoT Attack Threats 

IoT devices have less functionality than other endpoints, and because of this, hackers are often limited in what they can do through these devices. That said, hackers have been getting more creative in recent years, showing off what is truly capable with insecure IoT devices. 

Botnets 

IoT devices are frequently targeted for use in botnets by hackers. An insecure IoT device can be hijacked by hackers and used in DDoS attacks as part of a network of compromised devices. 

Ransomware 

Ransomware attacks quite often target important IoT devices. If a business relies heavily on the use of a certain IoT device, a hacker may be able to shut off access to the IoT, disrupting a business’s work. The hacker will then demand a ransom be paid in order for the company to regain access to the IoT device.

Data Breaches 

Data sent and received by an IoT device can be easily accessed by a hacker if the IoT device is not secure. Often, compromised IoT devices will be used in man-in-the-middle attacks. This means that hackers will use an IoT device to steal sensitive and often unencrypted data as it is being transmitted. 

Malware 

Although IoT devices have their limitations, they can still be targeted by malware attacks. As mentioned, IoTs are often targeted by botnet malware, but can also be attacked with other malware types. For example, an IoT device may be hijacked as part of a crypto mining network, or to send malicious information to other devices on a network. 

What Can You Do? 

Securing IoT devices can often feel like spinning plates, as the life cycles of devices can be short, and security updates are regular. There are some steps you can take to make securing your IoT devices easier. 

  • Make a recovery plan. Although this is not a preventative measure, it should be the first thing you do for any cybersecurity concern you may have. Having a comprehensive recovery plan in place can save you a lot of time and money if an IoT device becomes compromised. 
  • Stay on top of firmware updates. Keeping track of the current firmware version of all of your IoT devices will help make sure they are all up to date. IoT devices are often updated to improve security, but these firmware updates are not always automatic. 
  • Monitor your network. Having a network monitoring and analysis tool will make it easier to notice when and where data is accessed from an IoT device. 
  • Replace outdated devices. Once an IoT device lifecycle has ended, they often become insecure as they receive fewer updates. It is important to keep tabs on the current life cycles of your devices so that they can be replaced if they become unsupported. 
  • Implement standard security practises. Make sure that IoT devices have their passwords regularly updated so they are secure even if they are stolen. You should also make use of multi-factor authentication to secure your IoT devices in case company passwords are stolen.  

Use Securiwiser to Secure Your Business’s Network 

After reading this, you may be concerned about your business’s security measures. Securiwiser is here to help. 

Securiwiser is a cybersecurity monitoring tool that can help you tighten your organisations cybersecurity. With a cybersecurity posture analysis, you can use Securiwiser’s dashboard and scoring system to get an idea of how well protected your business is.  

Securiwiser’s scoring system measures your DNS health, email security, and network security in real time, and provides detailed information on how it may be improved. 

Click here for a free report, and boost your cybersecurity posture today.

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