There is no magical solution to stop cyberattacks from happening once and for all. Hackers will constantly change and adapt their strategies and technologies to target companies and services that reveal their IT security weaknesses. Companies must therefore continuously and consistently update their security infrastructures to maintain robustness and be able to cover all bases.
With the Internet of Things (IoT), the presence of more external devices means an increase in a number of security risks. Before that, one might ask what is IoT all about. To simply put it, IoT is used to refer to the physical devices that are connected to the Internet from all over the world. These includes devices that would normally not be expected to have a connection with the Internet, such as home appliances as well as the new wave of smart home and lifestyle accessories including wearable fitness trackers and smart watches.
In order to mitigate IoT security issues, two factor authentication (2FA) is important. Passwords are seen as the bane to digital security, with password-related cases taking up a good bulk of IT security issues. Passwords are often too weak such that hackers can easily overcome them with textbook methods, or they are too complicated to be remembered by the user. In rare cases, they can be both weak and complicated, creating unnecessary risk to IT security. Hence, there is an importance for 2FA, which is best known for using SMS services to verify actions such as logins or online transactions. For companies, using 2FA as part of the company’s implemented identity and access management (IAM) system is a much more systemic enforcement of security protocols and policies. Beyond SMS, companies can adopt 2FA in a variety of ways from hard tokens that generate One-Time PINs, to biometric authenticators. These are necessary when IoT devices are included in the big picture. Unlike laptops or company-issued devices, IoT devices are not as easily managed and tracked by the IT team, thus they present a high level of security risk to the company and may be more susceptible to exploitations. IoT devices are connected to the same network used by the company and they are a prime targets for hackers wishing to overwhelm a company’s security network through massive botnets and large scale attacks. Moreover, as IoT devices tend to be very minimalistic, they cannot be logged on directly through their interface. Their entire security relies on administrator actions, making the thorough authentication of any updates very crucial.
With recent surveys showing that many organisations have not even heard of multifactor authentication systems for IoT security, it is even more important for organisations to begin strengthening their IoT security infrastructure. Companies who have already adopted multifactor authentication to secure all of their IoT connected devices have brought up how convenient and safe it is, just to have push notifications and security keys.
As the IoT industry continues to work on and bolster the security factors built into their products, companies have an essential need to make sure that IoT devices do not compromise existing security networks and databases.