Detailed Guide on How to Secure IoT Devices in 2022

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The term ‘internet of things,’ or IoT for short, was first coined in 1999, and ever since all the devices that utilize this technology have seen a steady rise in usage. With increased usage, the question of security arises, but there’s no need to worry—this guide will tell you how to secure IoT devices and protect them from unwanted attacks.

What Is IoT and Its Devices?

The internet of things is a system of interrelated devices that are connected to the internet and have the ability to transfer data while being connected to the same wireless network. These systems can also communicate through Bluetooth technology if they’re on the same frequency. Although IoT can refer to anything connected to the internet, the term is being more narrowly used to describe a group of devices that communicate within the same system. Before we dive into IoT device security, we need to talk about the different types of devices using IoT technology. The most important thing you need to know is that each IoT device contains mini-computer processors and sensors, and is capable of machine learning. IoT smart devices include:

  • Industrial – robots and AI systems
  • Smart Home Systems – Smart TV, heating systems, and movement detectors
  • Home Appliances – refrigerators, microwaves, stoves and ovens
  • Transport – vehicles and traffic congestion systems
  • Medical – robotic surgery devices, pacemakers, inhalers
  • Security – alarm, camera, smart lock systems
  • Wearables – smartwatches and exercise trackers

As we can see from the examples above, as well as from the stats on IoT, smart devices have infiltrated all areas of life, and securing IoT is becoming increasingly important to protect yourself and your house from the risk that goes hand-in-hand with smart technology.

DID YOU KNOW? The first IoT device was a smart toaster that was presented by John Romkey at the 1990 INTEROP conference, changing the way we see home appliances.

What Is the Risk Associated With Smart Technology?

Any device connected to the internet is vulnerable to hacking, and IoT products are no exception. Hacking is the No.1 concern for IoT device owners since the consequences of a hack can be very serious.

All the smart devices in a household are connected to the same Wi-Fi network so they can communicate and coordinate with each other. Hackers can exploit this—by hacking the network, they gain access to all systems operating on that network, including security systems. Once they have access to the smart systems, hackers can manipulate them or access sensitive information stored on other devices using the same Wi-Fi connection.

What Are the Risks of Having Your IoT Hacked?

The IoT security standards are still not clearly defined, which results in a serious vulnerability of anyone using IoT products, making IoT owners more likely victims of cyber attacks and identity theft. To protect your identity, you should start using one of the great identity theft protection services available on the market.

Besides these risks, hacking stats reveal that the hacking of your home network can expose you to break-ins, password exploitation, unwanted purchases made in your name, and privacy intrusion, which can allow strangers to spy on you. But, you’re in luck, because we’ll show you how to protect IoT devices from hackers and prevent an attack.

DID YOU KNOW? In 2020, the number of IoT products connected to the Internet worldwide was 8.74 billion, many of which have security issues. It’s estimated that in 2022, this number will rise to 11.57 billion, making IoT products an even bigger liability.

Key Takeaways

The internet of things is a system of devices connected to the internet and in communication with each other.
Hacking poses a very serious threat to IoT systems.
Buying IoT products from reputable sellers and resetting them before disposal are some of the strategies to secure IoT systems.
A secure internet connection and strong passwords are most important for IoT security.

How to Secure IoT Devices?

IoT devices are the future, and you’re probably already using one without paying much attention to it. However, we’ve already established that they have many liabilities, so securing them should be your priority. So, how to go about the process of securing your IoT products?

1. Buy Them from Reputable Dealers

Before you purchase an IoT device, ensure that the seller is reputable and established in the industry. It’s a good sign if the product comes with a warranty or the seller provides tech support in the event of a malfunction.

2. Hire a Professional for Installation

One of the IoT security best practices is to hire professionals to install and fix your IoT systems. The installation process can be tricky, but a professional can properly connect the systems to the network and answer any security-related questions you may have.

3. Deactivate Unused Devices

Any smart device you’re not using regularly should be deactivated or unplugged; the fewer the number of connected devices, the lesser the vulnerability of the network, since disconnected devices are inaccessible to hackers.

4. Reset Device to Factory Defaults before Disposing

For maximum IoT protection, before disposing of a device or giving it away, reset it to factory default. By doing this, you ensure that whoever has access to the device after the disposal can’t use it to hack into your home network.

5. Regularly Update the Software

Software updates are important for fixing bugs and patching up security issues, so if you don’t update the software regularly, the IoT products become more susceptible to attacks.

DID YOU KNOW? At the end of 2020, there were 44.7 million smart households in the US. This means that the number of people vulnerable to hacking is growing substantially year by year.

6. Keep Your Internet Connection Secure

If you’re wondering how to secure IoT devices on a home network, the first and most important step is to ensure that your internet connection is secure. To do so, you must have a quality router with its own security features, and then change the router configuration, i.e. change the generic name and password and set the encryption to the highest level available on the router.

Another good practice is to separate your network into two networks—one for smart systems, and one for personal devices, which will protect your personal information even if the smart systems are hacked.

Another strategy for securing the internet of things is to use a high-quality VPN (Virtual Private Network) that will mask your IP address and protect it from hacking. If you decide to use a VPN as a protective measure, you can invest in a VPN router that will do all the work for you.

DID YOU KNOW? The IoT statistics show that 82% of industrial companies plan to use IoT products in their everyday operations, making the need for security products more pronounced.

Strong Passwords Are the Most Important

One of the best defenses against hacking internet of things systems is securing the networks with strong passwords. Never use the same suggested or generic passwords, and don’t use the same password to secure different accounts or devices. It’s also advisable that you change your password every 30 to 90 days.

For a higher level of security, you should use multi-factor authentication, which will serve as a backup even if someone has managed to access your password by brute force. You can opt for text message authentication, or for even more security, physical authentication that requires you to insert a physical key – usually, a USB stick.

Once you’ve covered everything you need to know about the internet of things home security strategies, you can proceed with the creation of a smart home.

DID YOU KNOW? The internet of things is the fastest growing sector in the tech industry—it’s estimated that the number of IoT devices will reach 25.5 billion by 2030.

Conclusion

It’s obvious that the internet of things systems are here to stay, and with each passing moment, these systems are becoming more sophisticated and more widely used. Like it or not, we all have to embrace this new way of living and ensure that the internet of things security and privacy is our top priority.

FAQ

How do I protect my IoT devices?

Protecting your IoT devices should consist of having strong passwords and a secure internet connection, best acquired with a VPN. Separating your personal and smart systems network is also a good protective measure.

What is IoT devices security?

IoT security consists of securing both the devices connected to the network and the network itself, which will protect you and your data from breaches and leaks.

What method should be used to secure the IoT ecosystem?

If you’re thinking about how to secure IoT devices within the same ecosystem, remember that you need to conduct checks for unusual activity, setting up automatic alerts. In addition, remember that secure passwords and encryption can take you a long way!

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