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Securing IoT: A Moving Target

Mozi. Dark Nexus. Mukashi. LeetHozer. Hoaxcalls. These are just a few of the nefarious botnets continuously threatening internet-connected devices around the world. And for now, they are succeeding: Internet of things devices saw a 100% increase in infections in 2020 over the previous year. And more than 150,000 IoT devices will be connected every minute by 2025.

Botnets are just one type of threat that can bring down internet-connected devices. Others include phishing, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and many other types of malware. According to one report, 57% of IoT devices are vulnerable to medium- or high-severity attacks.

So why are IoT devices at such risk and why is securing IoT so difficult? For starters, there are just so many of them. In addition to connected devices in healthcare and manufacturing, they have entered both the consumer and business mainstream. In business environments, the devices are used for environmental monitoring, asset tracking, security, fleet management, predictive maintenance and much more. Wireless IoT—by far the fastest-growing type—can be powered via cellular, Bluetooth, WiFi, RFID, Zigbee or low-power wide area networks (LPWANs).

They can either be out in the open and easy to see or hidden inside cabinets or devices. When out of sight, these devices are trickier to secure because, as tech experts are prone to say, “You can’t protect what you don’t know about.”

Image source: Forbes

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