Consumers have been concerned about the security of IoT devices for some time, placing much pressure on manufacturers to demonstrate that their products are secure and trustworthy. As a device manufacturer, it’s important to recognize the challenges you’ll face as you aim to gain consumer confidence in your product. Here are the top 5 cybersecurity challenges facing IoT device managers:
1. Misconfiguration issues
According to a whitepaper by Deloitte, 70% of IoT devices are configured to use factory-set usernames and passwords. Many users never change the default credentials, which cybercriminals are quick to take advantage of. When manufacturing your product, it becomes your responsibility to prevent weak authentication and provide secure default configuration settings for the operating system. Look into FIDO Device Onboard (FDO) technology, which is a device onboarding protocol developed by the FIDO Alliance. It is an automatic onboarding mechanism for IoT devices, meaning it is invoked autonomously and performs only limited, specific interactions with its environment to complete.
2. Lack of control once it’s in the hands of the end-user
It doesn’t matter how secure you’ve developed your product to be if the end-user ends up configuring it incorrectly, making it vulnerable to attacks. It may feel that this is no fault of yours that consumers ignore your directions and warnings about the consequences of improperly configuring your devices. However, any attacks involving your devices consequently damage your reputation. You may be able to address these issues by investing in services that ensure end-users properly configure their devices on-site.
3. Toolsets to verify product security
While there are many emerging IoT technologies being introduced into the market, toolsets for secure embedded development are rare, and the ones that do exist are limited. Manufacturers find themselves burdened by the responsibility to develop their own tools for validating the security of their products. And this may require hiring an in-house development team or partnering with a third-party vendor, which may involve stretching out your budget more than expected. Take a look at innovative and trending product cybersecurity assessment tools such as CyberPass.
4. Complexities of having multiple suppliers for hardware and software
The more third parties that are introduced into your process, the higher the risks for threats and vulnerabilities. After all, a software supplier may have different processes compared to your hardware vendor. Because you don’t have control over the security processes of these channels, it becomes your responsibility to assess and minimize any potential risks and security issues they may introduce into your development process. You can lessen the risk of passing security threats to your customers by identifying vulnerabilities across the various channels of your supply chain.
5. Late-development vulnerabilities and threats
Sophisticated threats can enter in the final stages of the development process, making vulnerability management crucial. A good vulnerability management system proactively mitigates the potential for vulnerabilities rather than managing attacks after they’ve happened. To ensure all device components are secure, you should keep an eye for potential vulnerabilities, write and release constant updates and patches, and prepare for more advanced attacks.
Finally, to be cyber resilient, IoT manufacturers need to spend more time on security measures in the product development stage supported by domain specialists when necessary. Connected products that come with reliable protection and detailed monitoring infrastructure are well-placed to meet these security challenges and provide trust to the market.
This guest blog is published with the kind permission of Red Alerts Lab and originally appeared here.