Cybersecurity in the IoT Era

img blog cybersecurity iot era
logo adaptive

In an era marked by the interconnectivity of devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the way we interact with technology. From smart homes to industrial machinery, IoT devices permeate our daily lives, offering convenience, efficiency, and unparalleled access to information. However, this interconnected web of devices also presents significant cybersecurity challenges.

As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand exponentially, the security risks associated with these interconnected devices have become increasingly pronounced. Each IoT device represents a potential entry point for cyberattacks, posing threats to individuals, businesses, and critical infrastructure alike. The implications of inadequate cybersecurity in the IoT era are far-reaching and profound, from data breaches to ransomware attacks.

In this article, we’ll explore the multifaceted landscape of cybersecurity in the Internet of Things era, explore the unique vulnerabilities inherent in IoT devices, examine the evolving tactics employed by cybercriminals, and discuss strategies to mitigate risks and safeguard against potential threats. By understanding the complexities of cybersecurity in the IoT era, we can better navigate this rapidly evolving technological landscape and ensure a safer, more secure future for all.

Cybersecurity risks in the age of IoT:

Protecting connected devices

In excerpts from an article by ManageEngine, they wrote, “IoT devices, such as smart home appliances, wearable technologies, and industrial machinery, are vulnerable to cyberattacks due to poor security measures and limited or outdated software. These attacks can have severe consequences, ranging from privacy breaches and data theft to physical damage and even actions that endanger human lives. It is essential for manufacturers, developers, and users to prioritize security and implement robust measures to protect IoT devices from cyber threats.

One of the common threats in IoT is the lack of encryption. Many IoT devices and networks transmit data in an unencrypted format, making it easier for cybercriminals to intercept and access sensitive information. Implementing strong encryption protocols is essential to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data transmitted between IoT devices and networks.

IoT devices also frequently suffer from outdated or unpatched software, leaving them vulnerable to known security vulnerabilities. Regular software updates and patches are crucial for keeping IoT devices secure and protecting against threats. Device manufacturers and users must stay vigilant and ensure that the latest security updates are applied promptly.

Furthermore, the sheer number of connected devices in IoT presents a challenge in terms of managing and securing them. With billions of devices interconnected, it becomes difficult to monitor and detect potential security breaches. Implementing robust network security measures, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, can help mitigate these risks and ensure the integrity of IoT ecosystems. Lastly, physical security is often overlooked in IoT deployments.

Unauthorized access to devices or tampering with them can lead to severe security breaches. Adequate physical security measures, such as locking cabinets or rooms where IoT devices are housed, can help prevent unauthorized access and protect against physical threats.It is crucial for organizations and individuals to understand the importance of cybersecurity in the IoT era and to implement robust security measures to protect sensitive information.”

2024 IoT And Smart Device Trends: What You Need To Know For The Future

In an article by Forbes, they wrote, “By the end of 2024, there are projected to be more than 207 billion devices connected to the worldwide network of tools, toys, devices and appliances that make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

An ever-growing number of them will not be computers or smartphones – as everything from toothbrushes to heavy industrial machinery is brought online. Increasingly, they will be smart devices augmented with artificial intelligence (AI) and capable of making autonomous decisions.

Businesses around the world have unlocked the benefits of IoT in recent years, and as individuals, we’re getting used to a greater variety of wearables and everyday connected products in our lives. This is a trend that certainly won’t slow down during 2024 as the distinction between the physical and the digital continues to be broken down.

IoT Security And Privacy

The more devices that are connected to your network, the more potential doors and windows there are for attackers to sneak in through. With AI-powered cyber-attacks expected to pose a growing threat in 2024, ensuring devices can be kept secure, particularly in an age of remote and distributed workforces, will be a key trend. For businesses in the age of digital and AI, maintaining the trust of customers and workforces is an essential priority, meaning security and privacy must be at the top of the agenda when building networks of smart devices and connected technology.

IoT In Healthcare

In healthcare, IoT devices can remotely monitor patients and assist doctors with making diagnoses, collecting data for research purposes, and developing new treatments. As society adapts to an aging population, solutions such as virtual hospitals, where patients remain at home but are monitored electronically from a central location, will be critical to managing the change. In 2024, we will also start to see generative AI used alongside connected healthcare devices to turn patient data into natural language reports and analyses. The value of the IoT healthcare market has been predicted to grow to around $150 billion this year, on its way to reaching a valuation of $289 billion by 2028.

AI-Augmented IoT (AIOT) And Convergence

We call devices connected to the IoT smart, but usually, we mean connected. Increasingly, though, we are seeing IoT technology converging with systems and devices capable of making decisions and answering questions using AI and machine learning. Just as with people, having thousands of intelligent devices all connected and attempting to carry out their tasks alongside each other is likely to lead to arguments. Developing protocols to enable intelligent devices to play nicely (and share data safely) will be a priority for the industry in 2024. This exciting convergence will also almost certainly continue to bring us interesting gadgets, toys, and gizmos!

Generative AI In Wearables

Generative AI, and specifically large language models, will become a common addition to the wearable devices we use in 2024. Smartwatches and fitness trackers augmented by this technology are already hitting the market, enabling them to act as personal assistants or fitness coaches. For consumers, this could spell the end for regular (non-generative) AI assistants like Siri and Alexa on wearables.

Edge Computing Meets AI And 5G

Edge Computing refers to devices that analyze data close to the source where it’s captured instead of sending it to a centralized server such as a cloud service for storage and analysis. As data volumes grow, so does the need to extract insights as quickly as possible so action can be taken more quickly and the cost of transmitting noisy raw data to the cloud can be reduced.

Autonomous vehicles serve as a great example of edge devices, as they need to interpret data from cameras to spot hazards in the road without having to send it to the cloud and wait for insights to be sent back. In 2024, the ongoing rollout of 5G networks will make Edge computing viable for many new applications, while AI integration will make edge devices smarter and more autonomous. This is likely to lead to a spike in adoption and innovative new use cases.

Retail IoT

IoT has been widely adopted across retail, where it takes the form of inventory systems, footfall tracking, automated checkouts, and RFID marketing devices and beacons.

Not every initiative is a success – Amazon closed some of its famous contactless stores in 2023; however, it also implemented pay-by-palm elsewhere, indicating that its experiments with IoT in retail are far from finished.

Across the board, spending on IoT in retail is expected to increase from $28.14 billion to $177.9 billion by 2031. This will be driven by retailers increasingly recognizing smart devices as essential for understanding and improving customer experiences.

Sustainable IoT And The Circular Economy

In 2024, moving towards sustainability and reusability has to be a priority for us all. There are a number of ways we can expect to see IoT technology used to achieve this aim. IoT sensors are increasingly used to monitor heat efficiency and energy use in buildings to identify where savings and efficiencies can be made. It will be used to optimize inventory, delivery and supply chains to ensure resources are used efficiently when storing or distributing products. It can help determine whether products are being sustainably disposed of or reused, where possible, by monitoring waste and recycling infrastructure. And to optimize traffic flow in urban areas to improve air quality.

Vehicle-To-Vehicle (V2V) Communications

Automobile manufacturers in 2024 look to v2v communications to reduce accidents and maintenance costs while also lowering the carbon footprint of journeys. Cars share their position, speed, and direction of travel, as well as data such as hazards they detect, with other vehicles in their vicinity. This allows driving to be optimized in order to reduce vehicle wear and tear and emissions and cut journey times. For autonomous or connected cars, these “many eyes” networks will prove more effective than relying on the limited vision of one vehicle. Vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, where cars connect to sensors embedded in roadside items such as traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, will also be a growing area of investment.

IoT And Digital Twins

Digital twins are virtual models of any object or system, from tiny components to cities or even the human brain. They are used to accelerate research and testing by enabling simultaneous, super-fast experiments, drastically reducing costs and time. IoT technology enhances the realism of these models by ensuring they are built on accurate real-world data. For example, a digital twin of a city can capture real-time data on people and vehicle movements via cameras and roadside sensors to optimize infrastructure planning. 2024 will see digital twins deployed across increasingly diverse and innovative use cases – many of them enabled by IoT.

Brain-Computer Interfaces

Perhaps the ultimate in wearables will be devices that attach to our bodies and are capable of reading our brain signals, meaning they can be controlled by thought alone. This might still seem very futuristic and far-fetched today, and it probably isn’t anything that most of us will be directly engaged with for some time to come. But it’s something we’ll hear more and more about in 2024 as experiments and trials by companies like Elon Musk’s Neuralink stir up excitement and products leveraging the technology begin to appear.”

IoT security remains a top concern for enterprises in 2024

In an article by IoTTechNews, they wrote, “As the use of IoT devices continues to accelerate, a new report from Asimily highlights the growing cybersecurity risks facing enterprises that fail to properly secure their connected devices.

The report, titled ‘IoT Device Security in 2024: The High Cost of Doing Nothing,’ analyses emerging attack trends targeting IoT infrastructure and outlines potential consequences for companies neglecting sufficient resilience measures.

With hospitals, manufacturers, government agencies, and other organisations increasingly relying on connected technologies to drive efficiency and boost customer experiences, IoT ecosystems have become prime targets for cybercriminals. Attackers are leveraging unsecured IoT endpoints as entry points to access wider corporate networks and sensitive data.

According to the report, outdated legacy vulnerabilities remain a persistent issue. 34 of the 39 most used IoT exploits are over three years old on average.

Routers make up 75 percent of infected IoT devices, as they provide gateways to access additional nodes on a network. Security cameras, digital signage systems, medical devices, and industrial control systems also rank among the most targeted.

As attacks increase, more cyber insurers are capping coverage payouts and requiring advanced IoT security controls to qualify organisations for policies. Without adequate protections, manufacturers, financial services, and energy companies – now the most targeted sectors – face heightened risks of IP theft, operational disruption, and steep recovery costs from incidents.

“The rapid adoption of IoT devices continues to outpace security, leaving major gaps in enterprises’ cyber resilience,” said Shankar Somasundaram, CEO of Asimily.

“Organisations that fail to implement a comprehensive IoT risk management strategy and monitor for vulnerabilities risk significant financial, operational, and reputational damage from inevitable attacks.”

By deploying robust IoT security tools and analysing attacker behaviours, the report highlights that enterprises can prioritise and mitigate the most pressing risks within their connected ecosystems. Asimily advises companies to formalise strategies centred on managing critical IoT risks to maximise resources devoted to strengthening cyber defenses.”

How Safe Is Your Wearable Device?

In an article by DarkReading, they wrote, “In 2018, 34-year-old Bobbi Leverette was lying in bed beside her newborn baby when her heart suddenly took on a rapid, life-threatening rhythm. Fortunately, following an earlier diagnosis of a dangerous heart condition, she had been fitted with a wearable defibrillator, which detected her irregular heart pattern and administered a shock treatment that saved her life.

Although wearable devices save lives, users’ personal information can be compromised following a security breach — and attacks on wearables are on the rise. In 2023, Zoll, the company that developed the device that saved Leverette’s life, confirmed that the sensitive data of more than 1 million of its patients had been exposed. An attacker gained access to users’ patient names, dates of birth, contact details, and Social Security numbers. may have now been compromised by a breach.

From smartwatches to biosensors, wearable devices are on the rise. MarketsandMarkets predicts that the wearables market will reach $265.4 billion by 2026, driven by lead players in the sector, such as Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Apple, Fitbit, and Microsoft. But how safe are they?

Wearing Your Sensitive Data on Your Sleeve

Wearable devices can collect and store various types of personal data, such as health metrics, location, payment information, and biometric identifiers. This information can provide valuable insights for users and third-party service providers such as fitness coaches, insurance companies, and marketers.

However, cybercriminals are waiting to exploit vulnerabilities. They can access valuable user data through physical theft of the device, wireless interception, cloud breaches, and other cyberattack techniques. For example, in the UK, police warned cyclists and runners that using GPS apps to track their routes could expose them to burglary risk, as criminals could use the data to identify when and where they are away from home.

Health data collected by wearables can reveal sensitive information about a user’s medical conditions, habits, or lifestyle choices. This data can be exploited for blackmail, discrimination, or identity theft. Moreover, payment data stored on wearables could enable unauthorized transactions or fraud if not properly secured. These can be misused when the wearable is lost or stolen and not protected by PIN or biometrics. The fact that devices connect to smartphones opens a less obvious alley for fraud: hijacking the smartphone itself. In fact, Trojans on mobile devices are one of the fastest-growing security threats.

Securing Wearables With Cutting-Edge Technology

Understanding the “wearables data-security paradox” is essential.
On one hand, wearable devices present risks due to the amount of personal data they collect. On the other, the same high-risk data they collect can be used to develop security technologies. Specifically, they can leverage the idiosyncrasies of their wearers to perform biometric verification, which is a method of authenticating a user based on their unique physical or behavioral characteristics.

In a rare combination of convenience and security, fingerprint verification is the easiest to implement here. It’s reliable, fast, and computationally cheap, and there are already a number of standards and readers small enough to incorporate into wearables.

Another example leverages the capability of some wearable devices that can measure the heartbeat of users, which is highly accurate and difficult to spoof. A user’s heartbeat pattern can be utilized as a biometric identifier to verify the user when performing sensitive operations, such as pairing with a new device, synchronizing data, or making payments, as a study by researchers from Binghamton University and Stevens Institute of Technology reveals.

Biometrics also offers several advantages over traditional authentication methods, since they are harder to compromise, more convenient for users, and cannot be spoofed.

To overcome security challenges, developers should code biometric verification to be used in combination with other methods of authentication, such as passwords or PINs. The biometric data must also be encrypted and stored locally on their devices whenever possible and not transmitted or shared with third parties without permission. Furthermore, users should be given the opportunity to revoke or change their biometric identifiers if needed.

Know Your Privacy and Security

To protect personal data from misuse, developers and users must be aware of the types of data their devices collect and store and how they are shared with third-party services or cloud platforms.

Users should have the ability to enable encryption and multifactor authentication and know the risks of using public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks to sync their data. Finally, privacy policies and terms of service need to be accessible and make it clear to users that they can opt out of any unnecessary data collection or sharing.

When building a new wearable technology for the market, developers must provide users with the highest levels of control over their data access and sharing preferences. Users must be able to customize different data permissions through settings and configuration, including GPS tracking, health metrics, payment information, or biometric identifiers.

Final Thoughts: A World of Devices

Wearable devices are part of the new Internet of Things (IoT) era. Reports estimate that connected devices will almost triple, from 9.7 billion in 2020 to more than 29 billion in 2030. After all, they make lives easier — even save them. To mitigate risks, both developers and users must include security principles and technologies as core foundations for each device. At the same time, users must educate themselves and be given the tools to customize their security settings.

Deploying and activating biometrics technology is essential. It is our most advanced resource to protect our data and to protect lives.”

Cybersecurity risks in the age of IoT:

Protecting connected devices

In an article by Robotics and Automation News, they wrote, “With the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), our world has become increasingly interconnected. From smart homes and wearable devices to industrial systems and critical infrastructure, the number of connected devices continues to grow exponentially.

While this interconnectedness brings convenience and efficiency, it also opens the door to significant cybersecurity risks. In this article, we will explore the challenges posed by IoT and discuss strategies for protecting connected devices.

As the number of IoT devices surges, so does the potential attack surface for cybercriminals. Connected devices often lack robust security measures, making them vulnerable to exploitation.

Hackers can target these devices to gain unauthorized access, compromise personal data, or launch large-scale cyberattacks. Additionally, the interconnected nature of IoT means that a breach in one device can provide a gateway to infiltrate an entire network, leading to severe consequences.

Essential for safeguarding online privacy and ensuring data security, reliable tools such as ExpressVPN play a critical role in mitigating risks. By routing data through secure servers, these tools provide additional protection against unauthorized monitoring. However, there are other measures you can adopt to enhance IoT security further.

Overcoming IoT security challenges: Authentication and regular updates

To effectively protect connected devices in the age of IoT, several key measures must be implemented:

Device manufacturers must prioritize implementing robust authentication mechanisms such as multifactor authentication such as Okta and biometrics. These measures ensure that only authorized individuals can access the devices, reducing the risk of unauthorized intrusions.

Similarly, timely software updates are crucial to address vulnerabilities and patch security flaws. Manufacturers should provide regular updates for their IoT devices, and users must promptly apply these updates to keep their devices secure.

Other steps: Secure communication and network segmentation

Encrypted communication protocols, such as HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS), should be utilized to protect data transmitted between devices and the cloud. Encryption ensures that sensitive information remains confidential and cannot be intercepted by malicious actors. Google Cloud offers a variety of ways to encrypt data and protect an organization’s cryptographic keys.

On the other hand, segregating IoT devices from critical network infrastructure can limit the potential impact of a compromised device. Organizations can isolate and protect critical systems from unauthorized access by implementing network segmentation.

The expanding threat landscape: Stay Informed

Some key developments and important information that all IoT users should be aware of:

1. Increased Vulnerabilities: The rapid growth of IoT devices has resulted in an expanding attack surface for cybercriminals. Recent reports have highlighted vulnerabilities in various IoT devices, exposing potential risks to user privacy and data security. It is crucial for IoT users to stay informed about these vulnerabilities and take necessary steps to mitigate the associated risks.

2. Botnet Threats: Botnets are networks of compromised devices controlled by hackers. They can be used to launch large-scale distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks or carry out other malicious activities. Recent incidents have demonstrated the potential for botnets to target vulnerable IoT devices. Users should ensure that their IoT devices are protected with strong passwords, regularly updated firmware, and secure communication protocols to minimize the risk of being recruited into a botnet.

3. Data Privacy Concerns: IoT devices generate vast amounts of data, often including personal and sensitive information. It is crucial for users to understand how their data is collected, stored, and used by IoT devices and associated services. Reviewing privacy policies, being cautious while granting permissions, and considering data protection features are essential steps in safeguarding personal information.

4. Supply Chain Security: The complex supply chain involved in IoT device manufacturing introduces potential security risks. Recent incidents have revealed instances of compromised devices being sold to unsuspecting users. It is important to purchase IoT devices from trusted manufacturers and retailers and verify the authenticity and integrity of the products to avoid potential security compromises.

5. Regulatory Measures: Governments and regulatory bodies are recognizing the significance of IoT security and implementing measures to address the associated risks. Users should stay updated with the latest regulations and guidelines on IoT security in their respective jurisdictions. Compliance with these regulations can ensure higher security for IoT devices and protect user privacy.

Addressing the escalating cybersecurity risks associated with connected devices is imperative as the IoT landscape continues to expand. Implementing robust security measures is fundamental to protecting IoT devices from potential threats.”

What Are the Cyber Attacks on IoT Devices?

In an article by Global Cybersecurity, they wrote, “In today’s interconnected world, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become an integral part of our daily lives. From smart thermostats and wearable devices to industrial sensors and autonomous vehicles, IoT devices have revolutionized the way we live and work. However, with the growing number of IoT devices, the threat landscape for cybersecurity has expanded significantly. In this blog, we will explore the various cyber-attacks targeting IoT devices and discuss the importance of safeguarding these connected technologies.

The IoT Revolution: A Double-Edged Sword

IoT devices have the potential to enhance efficiency, convenience, and productivity across various industries. However, their proliferation has also created new avenues for cybercriminals to exploit. These attacks on IoT devices pose significant risks to both individuals and organizations, making it crucial to understand the types of threats they face.

Common IoT Cyber Attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks: One of the most prevalent threats to IoT devices is the use of botnets, which are networks of compromised devices controlled by cybercriminals. These botnets can be used to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, overwhelming a target server or website with massive amounts of traffic, rendering it inaccessible.

Device Compromises: Cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities in IoT devices to gain unauthorized access. Once inside, they can steal sensitive information, manipulate device functionality, or use the compromised device as a pivot point to attack other devices or networks within an organization.

Data Breaches: IoT devices often collect and transmit sensitive data, such as personal information or industrial secrets. A breach of this data can have severe consequences, including identity theft, fraud, or intellectual property theft.

Ransomware: Cybercriminals may infect IoT devices with ransomware, rendering the device or network inoperable until a ransom is paid. This can be especially disruptive in critical sectors like healthcare or manufacturing.

Eavesdropping and Espionage: IoT devices with built-in microphones and cameras can be compromised to spy on individuals or organizations. This could lead to privacy breaches and the exposure of sensitive conversations or intellectual property.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: In these attacks, cybercriminals intercept and alter communication between IoT devices and their associated servers or networks. This can lead to data manipulation, unauthorized access, or eavesdropping on communications.

Firmware and Software Vulnerabilities: Many IoT devices rely on firmware and software to function. If these components have security vulnerabilities, cybercriminals can exploit them to gain control over the device.

Protecting IoT Devices from Cyber Attacks

As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, it is crucial to implement effective security measures to protect these devices. Here are some steps to safeguard your IoT devices:

Regular Updates: Keep your devices’ firmware and software up to date. Manufacturers often release updates that patch known vulnerabilities.

Strong Passwords: Change default passwords and use strong, unique passwords for each device. Consider implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible.

Network Segmentation: Isolate your IoT devices from critical networks to minimize the potential damage in case of a breach.

Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems: Implement firewalls and intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic and detect unusual or suspicious activities.

Encryption: Use encryption to protect data in transit and at rest on IoT devices.

Regular Auditing and Monitoring: Continuously monitor your IoT devices for any signs of compromise and conduct regular security audits.

Security Best Practices: Educate users and employees on security best practices to minimize the risk of human error.

The Internet of Things has ushered in a new era of connectivity and convenience, but it has also brought new challenges in the form of cyber attacks. Being aware of the types of threats that IoT devices face and taking proactive steps to secure them is essential to protect personal privacy, sensitive data, and critical infrastructure. As the IoT landscape continues to evolve, so too must our cybersecurity efforts to ensure a safe and connected future.”

In conclusion, the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) has ushered in an era of unprecedented connectivity and technological advancement. From smart homes to industrial systems, IoT devices have permeated every aspect of our lives, offering convenience and efficiency. However, with this connectivity comes significant cybersecurity challenges that cannot be overlooked.

The interconnected nature of IoT devices presents a vast attack surface for cybercriminals, leaving individuals, businesses, and critical infrastructure vulnerable to exploitation. From data breaches to ransomware attacks, the consequences of inadequate cybersecurity in the IoT era are far-reaching and profound.

To address these challenges, it is imperative for manufacturers, developers, and users to prioritize security measures and implement robust strategies to protect IoT devices. This includes implementing strong encryption protocols, regularly updating software, and deploying network security measures such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems.

Moreover, as the IoT landscape continues to evolve, it is essential for individuals and organizations to stay informed about emerging threats and best practices for IoT security. By understanding the complexities of cybersecurity in the IoT era and taking proactive steps to mitigate risks, we can navigate this rapidly evolving technological landscape and ensure a safer, more secure future for everyone.

At Adaptive Office Solutions, cybersecurity is our specialty. We keep cybercrimes at bay by using analysis, forensics, and reverse engineering to prevent malware attempts and patch vulnerability issues. By making an investment in multilayered cybersecurity, you can leverage our expertise to boost your defenses, mitigate risks, and protect your data with next-gen IT security solutions.

Every device connecting to the internet poses a cyber security threat, including that innocent-looking smartwatch you’re wearing. Adaptive’s wide range of experience and certifications fills the gaps in your business’s IT infrastructure and dramatically increases the effectiveness of your cybersecurity posture.

Using our proactive cybersecurity management, cutting-edge network security tools, and comprehensive business IT solutions, you can lower your costs through systems that are running at their prime, creating greater efficiency and preventing data loss and costly downtime. With Adaptive Office Solutions by your side, we’ll help you navigate the complexities of cybersecurity so you can achieve business success without worrying about online threats.

To schedule a Cyber Security Risk Review, call the Adaptive Office Solutions’ hotline at 506-624-9480 or email us at