Time to Address Vulnerabilities in the IoT


Photo By daniel_diaz_bardillo  via Pixabay


The Internet of things has become so huge that it has become a ticking bomb, say some security experts. If it does explode, it may be likened to an apocalyptic event as it will destroy everything on the internet of things. 

Srini Vemula who is global security expert at Seneca Global says that the IoT is now more connected, from children's toys to pacemakers and cars, to critical infrastructures like electricity, irrigation, and national defense These can be juicy targets of entities from criminal gangs to rogue nations. 

At present more than one million organizations are already infected with digital malware and it's already costing big money from lawsuits to security just to contain them. 

Some of the biggest IoT problems have already occurred, says Vemula. Some of these were (1) the Mirai botnet which exploited factory default hardcoded passwords, (2) the DDoS attack in 2016 wherein utilities running on CCTV were hacked, (3) The DDoS attack on a security journalist site which used more than 500 thousand interconnected cameras that generated some 660 Gbps of traffic, forcing the company to let go of protection for the site, and (4) The Persira botnet where hackers gained access to some 100 thousand IP-connected cameras giving them access to the cameras' internet feed.

These and much more have happened and Vemula suggests a handful of actions that can make a difference. He recommends manufacturers to build devices that have security hardened platforms, meaning they should be fine-tuned to security as well as supportive of patching of software at scale. Another is to have standard IoT security controls. Yet another is to change default passwords for devices and to subscribe to security services and also to act on all threats that come.

Hopefully, as we face the challenges of IoT security, better ways can be found to upgrade the security of devices that are already within the system and to prevent any apocalyptic foreboding that may materialize in the way as we connect with one another digitally.