Smart devices are being increasingly utilized by attackers to launch ransomware or data theft campaigns from within organizations’ networks. Even if they’re printers, CCTV, alarm systems, door access devices or communication boardrooms, these seemingly benign access points to businesses may provide attackers with the crucial initial access they need to execute their plans. These may also be areas that many security teams overlook.
Secoura frequently discovers 20-30% more devices than anticipated when a device is introduced to the organization’s digital environment for the first time and learns about its context. The majority of these unexpected devices and security vulnerabilities are caused by an increase in IoT-enabled technology. This growing reliance on IoT devices will only grow stronger in the future.
There are now more than 18 billion active IoT devices in use. However, according to Dell’s forecasts, this number will exceed 41.6 billion by 2030. We believe that most predictions regarding IoT usage by 2030 are overly modest.
As a consequence of the COVID-19 epidemic and hybrid work, future workplaces will only become more hands-free and networked. 5G’s broad adoption won’t just result in more IoT devices; it will also allow for better performance and highly connected capabilities as devices get faster and more efficient.
Devices with Internet connectivity can be used to conduct illegal transactions, or a security glitch might infect a business when a recently updated Internet-connected vending machine is installed. IT personnel are not always aware that these devices are “smart” and do not vet them the same way they would non-Internet-connected business technology.
Companies today are investing millions of dollars into IoT devices that do not prioritize security, frequently sacrificing it for access and convenience, putting the burden on company security teams after the fact. Starting with one of these IoT devices that are generally lacking in security measures makes it simpler for a hacker to move laterally. It is easier for a hacker to go through an open window than a locked, guarded front door, much like the danger from supply chains.
IoT devices have been introduced into a business environment and used by an insider due to their small size, low signature, and abilities, making them a potent threat in evading traditional security measures focused on external and known risks. Secoura has even discovered crypto-mining malware on a door sensor, demonstrating how creative attackers can be and all the many ways unsecured IoT may be misused.
IoT security is necessary to stop attackers from moving lateral moves across a company’s network. If attackers can breach one device within an organization’s digital infrastructure, they may move on to more critical devices with bigger data storage.
The good news is that security teams don’t have to fight alone. The first step in defending a network against IoT attacks is establishing a policy on IoT usage and adoption. Increasing visibility and comprehending these ghost devices as soon as they connect to the network is the next, and often most difficult, step. To achieve this aim, some security teams like SECOURA’s Team use AI to identify the device and map ‘normal’ activities before forcing a device’s behaviour to disrupt any attacker’s efforts to turn it into an attack platform. This method also aids in reducing the burden on overworked security personnel.
From a broader policy standpoint, more pressure must be applied on IoT manufacturers to make security a priority and integrate it throughout the entire development and upgrade process. It is everyone’s responsibility to disrupt attacks and harden environments against attacker access points and attack vectors.