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Are Your IoT Devices Vulnerable to Attack?

Written by: Isabelle Rupani / March 23, 2023

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term used to describe a network of internet-connected devices and objects that are capable of communicating with each other, collecting and exchanging data, and performing various tasks autonomously or with human input. These devices and objects can range from household appliances, such as smart thermostats and refrigerators, to industrial machines and sensors. Smart TVs, smart doorbells, and voice assistants are some of the most common IoT devices in households today. 

While IoT technology has many benefits, it also comes with its fair share of risks and vulnerabilities. In fact, 57% of smart devices are vulnerable to medium- to high-risk attacks.  In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most common IoT network vulnerabilities and what you can do to protect yourself and your devices.

Insecure Communication

One of the biggest vulnerabilities in IoT networks is insecure communication. Many IoT devices communicate over unencrypted channels, making it easy for hackers to intercept and steal sensitive data. For example, if you have a smart thermostat that communicates with your phone over Wi-Fi, a hacker could intercept that communication and gain access to your home network.

To protect against this vulnerability, it's important to use secure communication channels whenever possible. Look for IoT devices that use encryption, such as HTTPS or SSL/TLS, to protect your data as it travels over the internet.

Weak Authentication

Another common vulnerability in IoT networks is weak authentication. Many IoT devices are protected by simple usernames and passwords that are easy to guess or crack. This makes it easy for hackers to gain access to your devices and your network.

To protect against weak authentication, use strong and unique passwords for all of your IoT devices. Avoid using default passwords, which are often easy to guess or find online. Additionally, consider using multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security to your devices.

Lack of Updates

Another vulnerability in IoT networks is the lack of updates. Many IoT devices are not updated regularly, leaving them vulnerable to known exploits and vulnerabilities. This is especially true for older devices that may no longer be supported by the manufacturer.

To protect against this vulnerability, make sure to keep your IoT devices updated with the latest firmware and software updates. Check with the manufacturer to see if they offer automatic updates or if you need to manually check for updates periodically.

Insecure APIs

Many IoT devices rely on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to communicate with other devices or services. However, if these APIs are not secure, they can be exploited by hackers to gain access to your devices and your network.

To protect against insecure APIs, make sure to use APIs that are secure and well-documented. Look for APIs that use encryption and authentication to protect your data and your devices.

Unsecured Routers

One of the most common and significant vulnerabilities in IoT networks is insecure routers. Home and office routers are often the entry point for cybercriminals seeking to gain access to IoT devices. Many users do not change the default login credentials for their routers, which makes them easy targets for hackers. Hackers can use these insecure routers to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, steal data, or gain access to other devices on the network. 

To prevent this, it's important to secure your router with a strong, unique password, keep its firmware up-to-date, and disable any unused features. Creating a separate network for your IoT devices and using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can also help to protect against router-based attacks. You should also use a router that prioritizes security and doesn’t leave any unpatched critical vulnerabilities. (In 2020 and 2021, 71% of routers were found to have high-priority or critical vulnerabilities!)

Gryphon routers update firmware regularly to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures. Plus, built-in cybersecurity and the option to add firewall protection mean that you can secure your home network at its source. 

Protect Your IoT Devices

IoT technology has many benefits, but it also comes with its fair share of risks and vulnerabilities. To protect yourself and your devices, it's important to be aware of these vulnerabilities and take steps to mitigate them. By using secure communication channels, strong authentication, regular updates, secure APIs, and a secure router, you can help ensure the safety and security of your IoT devices and your network. Keep your home network safe from hackers and view our line of secure Gryphon routers today!