Internet of Things (IoT) devices bring a multitude of benefits, but they also come with several inherent risks.
‘Tis the season for Black Friday sales and holiday cheer. As you indulge in your online shopping spree, snagging the latest Apple watch or Alexa smart speaker, have you ever considered the potential vulnerabilities of IoT devices? While cybersecurity best practices like network and endpoint security, antivirus software, and strong passwords are often emphasized, they may not be enough to defend against all threats. There’s a silent menace lurking in the shadows that these practices fail to address.
Risks of IoT Devices
Our dependence on technology continues to grow, with computers, cellphones, smart bulbs, smart surveillance systems, and smart baby monitors becoming integral parts of our daily lives. However, each of these devices also serves as an entry point to our networks, presenting a potential threat.
Imagine this scenario: you invite an old acquaintance over for a catch-up session. While you’re engaged in conversation, you excuse yourself to use the bathroom. Hours later, your friend leaves, and the eerie occurrences begin. Lights flicker on and off without any human intervention, a strange voice emanates from your baby monitor despite no one else being present, and your kitchen boiler starts up on its own. Your house feels haunted, but the explanation is far from supernatural—it’s a malicious actor trying to scare you out of your wits.
Let’s delve into this case. The bad actor, in this instance, happens to be your old acquaintance. During your bathroom break, they discreetly insert a malevolent USB key into one of your smart devices, creating a backdoor to your network. With this foothold, they gain control over other internet-connected devices in your home, leveraging lateral movement.
While this may sound like a farfetched scenario, it’s entirely plausible. Moreover, it underscores the risks associated with IoT devices and how they can be exploited by attackers who gain physical access to their targets.
The Reality for Organizations
In a more realistic scenario, smart home devices pose a significant risk to organizations. Many companies implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, allowing employees to use their personal devices for remote work, especially with the rising trend of telecommuting. While this approach may be cost-effective, it introduces a major threat—company data stored on these devices becomes more exposed. In the aforementioned scenario, the attacker could have used the compromised IoT device as a gateway to an employee’s BYOD, granting access to confidential company data. With an average of 25 smart devices per household, attackers have numerous entry points to choose from, elevating the risks associated with IoT devices beyond expectations.
The Covert Threat and a Beacon of Hope
Cybercriminals can carry out their malicious activities covertly using hardware attack tools such as rogue USB thumb drives. These devices go undetected by existing security solutions due to a lack of Layer 1 visibility, evading security alarms. Their innocuous appearance raises no suspicion. While it may seem like an insurmountable threat, there is a glimmer of hope.
Illuminate Your Security with Sepio
Sepio’s innovative solution can identify spoofed USB devices and network implants. By leveraging Layer 1 information, Sepio calculates a digital fingerprint for all IT, OT, and IoT assets, ensuring accurate identification of each device. Additionally, Sepio’s comprehensive policy enforcement mechanism, combined with its Rogue Device Mitigation capability, swiftly blocks any unapproved or rogue hardware, preventing lateral movement within the network. With Sepio’s technology, data protection reaches unprecedented levels through complete device visibility. Existing solutions are optimized, and Zero Trust Hardware Access becomes attainable. With Sepio’s Layer 1 visibility, your light remains undimmed, and your network stays secure.