Why Do IoT Devices Pose a Greater Security Protection?

April 29, 2024

The cyber-attacks become even more serious with the explosion of IoT which has changed our cybersecurity environment. However, IoT device security concepts, which are generally known for their innovative features, are threatened with security issues, which render them vulnerable to being hacked. Understanding why IoT devices are particularly vulnerable to security breaches is highly important for developing an effective security strategy to protect digital systems.

We will examine the main reasons why IoT devices pose a greater security risk than other computing devices on a network.

Challenges in securing IoT infrastructure

Challenges of IoT security infrastructure

Security is a serious issue with IoT applications so tackling challenges requires a thorough approach. We must establish universal security standards, ensure strong authentication, encrypt data, and update firmware securely. Plus, organizations must prioritize security at every stage of an IoT device's life, from creation to retirement.

Let's take a look at the most important challenges that you should address:

Lack of standardization

The lack of standardization poses significant challenges in the IoT landscape. IoT device security concepts struggle to work together seamlessly, hindering efficiency and innovation. Without a standardization framework, it's tough for diverse devices and systems to communicate smoothly. This is because IoT gadgets come from different manufacturers, each with its way of doing things.

Firmware updates

Keeping IoT devices up to date with the latest firmware and patches is challenging. This is because updating them involves complex processes and managing a large number of devices as a result, known vulnerabilities may linger, making it easier for security breaches to occur.

Data encryption

Cloud and IoT security of the data flowing servers through encryption can put a strain on the devices, particularly those with limited computing power. This might slow down their performance and drain more battery, affecting how well the IoT setup works.

Identity and access control

Establishing a strong identity and IoT access control can be quite a task, particularly in environments where there are many interconnected devices. This complexity stems from the requirement to securely manage and verify each device, guaranteeing that only permitted users and systems can access valuable data and resources.

Risks in IoT data privacy

Data privacy risks loom large, posing significant concerns for users and organizations. These risks stem from the vast amounts of sensitive data generated, transmitted, and stored by IoT devices, which can include personal information, financial details, and even confidential business data.

The major risk lies in the potential interception of data during transmission between cloud and IoT security servers. Without adequate encryption measures, this data is vulnerable to interception by malicious actors, leading to breaches of privacy and confidentiality.

Another concern is the potential for data sharing among IoT devices and platforms without the user's explicit consent. This could lead to the unauthorized collection and use of personal data, violating users' privacy rights and undermining trust in IoT systems. Moreover, the use of third-party services and platforms to store and analyze IoT data introduces further privacy risks.

An example of real-life risks to data privacy in IoT security is illustrated by smart home gadgets. While they may seem harmless, they can actually pose significant privacy risks. Take a smart speaker, for example. It might quietly record your chats and send them off to the cloud for processing, but without proper encryption or your say-so, that's like having your private talks overheard by unwanted ears.

To safeguard our privacy, it's meaningful for gadget manufacturers to implement robust privacy measures from the outset. As users, it's incumbent upon us to remain informed and assert control over our device settings and data-sharing practices. Ultimately, our privacy is at stake, and we must retain the authority to dictate the terms.

Vulnerabilities in IoT devices

Security is a serious issue with IoT applications because security vulnerabilities with IoT devices are a big worry for people and organizations. For instance, passwords we use, sometimes they're easy to hack, and using public Wi-Fi is like leaving the front door wide open for cyber troublemakers. Additionally, weak points like web interfaces, backend APIs, cloud connections, or mobile apps, which are part of the IoT system but not on the device itself, pose a big risk for compromising the device or its parts. Common issues include a lack of authentication/authorization, lack of weak encryption, and input and output filtering shortage. Insecure default settings, such as default and hardcoded settings that enable simple setup, are highly insecure and easy for attackers to breach. Moreover, IoT devices, especially those deployed in remote environments, are easier for attackers to target and disrupt, manipulate, or sabotage.

For example, when a smart thermostat is set up in a distant office, but uses default settings without encryption. In this case, someone with malicious intent could intercept the communication between the thermostat and the main server. They could then mess with the temperature controls, causing chaos in the office, or worse, using this vulnerability to launch a major attack on the entire office network.

The vulnerabilities in IoT device security concepts are common to Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) devices. Narrowband IoT is a type of low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technology designed to link up IoT devices. People worry a lot about how secure NB-IoT is because IoT gadgets handle sensitive info and send it out.

A big problem with NB-IoT devices is that they often don't have good ways to update securely. These gadgets need regular updates to fix problems and keep them safe from attacks. If these updates aren't secure, hackers can sneak in and add harmful code or software onto the devices. This could cause troubles like stealing data, taking control of the device, or messing up important tasks.

To address the vulnerability in NB-IoT devices, firmware updates should be implemented by incorporating encryption for data transmission, authentication mechanisms to verify the integrity of updates, and anti-rollback mechanisms to prevent the installation of older, vulnerable firmware versions. This will ensure that only authentic and authorized updates are installed, preventing unauthorized code or malware from being injected during the update process.

Cyberattacks and malware in IoT devices

Cyberattacks and malware are big worries for IoT devices. Since 2022, the number of malware attacks on IoT gadgets has increased by 400%

There are a couple of common types of malware to watch out for. Botnets and thingbots are sneaky little programs that can take over IoT devices from afar. Once they're in control, they can swipe personal info, mess with online banking, or even launch those big, nasty DDoS attacks.

In smart cities, cyberattacks, and malware pose significant concerns for IoT devices. For instance, someone sneakily gets into the smart transportation system's gadgets without permission. They find a weak spot in the system's network and some nasty software in the traffic lights. Then, they can mess with the signals, causing chaos on the roads by faking traffic jams or messing with the timing of the lights to disrupt how vehicles move.

Moreover, in smart city security, there's another issue called ransomware attacks. The attackers aim their malware at the IoT gadgets in the smart transportation network. They infect devices like toll tag readers or traffic cameras, locking up important data and demanding money to unlock it. This messes up the toll collection, throws traffic monitoring into chaos, and could cost the city a lot of money.

Securing IoT devices in smart cities against cyber threats and malware is a real challenge. One of the top priorities is to make sure that when these devices communicate, they're doing it in a way that's locked down tight. That means using encryption to keep all the data safe and sound so that nobody can snoop.

Strategies for enhancing IoT security solutions

Strategies of IoT enhancing security

Strategies for enhancing IoT security include a multi-faceted approach to protect IoT devices from cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Some key strategies include:

Authentication and encryption

Ensure that IoT devices support strong authentication methods like two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) to prevent unauthorized access. Implement encryption to secure data transmitted between devices and networks.

Network access control

Use a network access control solution to detect devices on the network and identify rogue connections. Apply controls to unauthorized devices to prevent security risks.

Secure communication protocol

Ensure that IoT devices communicate with security protocols like HTTPS or MQTT with Transport layer security (TLS) encryption to protect data transmission.

Network traffic monitoring

Monitor your network traffic and activity of IoT devices using network monitoring tools to detect unusual behavior or suspicious activities that could indicate a security breach.


To sum up, devices with IoT technology are more likely to be the source of risk than other devices for many different reasons. The fact that they are a commodity, are networked much too frequently, and are typically protected badly makes them a perfect target for cyberattacks. Besides this vulnerability, the flood of IoT devices in different environments, and their integration into critical infrastructure, will enhance the consequences of hacking attempts. Implementation of a comprehensive approach is compulsory to ensure better security, and it includes enforcing security measures, continued risk assessment, regulatory policies, and cooperation among the stakeholders. With the help of prioritizing IoT security and then implementing effective strategies only we can lower these risks and be assured that the IoT ecosystems will always be safe and secure.