IoT Security

July 24, 2018


An Article written by Trainee Rouqaiah Alrefai From Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University about Internet Of Things in Cybersecurity.

   Technology keeps evolving each day to keep up with the fast development of sophisticated lifestyles that people are living nowadays. Internet is getting involved in every little thing people do. The smallest example is ordering an Uber to get to a specific place. Internet of things or the abbreviated saying IoT is one of the latest technologies that is spreading fast. Now you get to see IoT in houses, cars, airports, cities and many other places. It may seem a weird idea to have your things understand you, but who doesn’t want his/her coffee maker to understand his/her mood especially in the morning?



IoT (Internet of Things)


Understanding the meaning of IoT is important to secure it. Internet of things is simply having a network of devices that can communicate with each other and the internet with or without any involvement. [1] Technically, it holds a deeper meaning which is a wired or wireless network of connected devices, things and objects which contain sensors and actuators embedded within. These devices are identifiable through a unique addressing schema that allows them to interact with each other. Moreover, the computing capabilities in the devices allow them to process data through generating, exchanging and consuming it with or without human intervention. Then transfer it to the cloud for storage and analysis. [1][2][3][4]


Figure 1:Simple Internet of Things structure (IoT)



IoT security issues and challenges


All new technologies are Double-edged, they have a lot of benefits, but they also have flaws. IoT is vulnerable to all types of threats and attacks, attacks on devices, objects, systems, networks and connections. Protecting the security and privacy of IoT users is very important and it becomes the main concern of IoT developers. There are many security issues and challenges that circle the security of IoT. IoT embedded computational capabilities collect a massive amount of sensitive data that is being stored and processed in the cloud which is also vulnerable to a lot of threats and flaws. Securing the big data that is being collected and securing the cloud can be very expensive and requires large effort to secure all parts of the IoT network.

Businesses are moving toward including the internet of things in their infrastructure and work environment. Therefore, it is advised that they understand the issues of security, privacy and anonymity that comes with the use of this technology.


One of these issues or challenges is the popular and known attack DDoS attack (Denial of Service). It is an attack that allows an adversary to control IoT based devices and use them to overwhelm a website or server with a large amount of data traffic coming from the controlled objects/things, so that any content or database information can be leaked out. [5] Mirai malware is a malware or worm that targets smart devices in the network and turns them into botnets that are used to perform DDoS attacks. Multiple businesses were attacked by Mirai and DDoS in 2016.

Another issue that challenges the security of IoT is the lack of protection in both hardware and software. There are no embedded safeguards in the hardware that could ensure its security. Moreover, the built-in software may be outdated or doesn’t have any security countermeasures.


Figure 2:Mirai DDoS attack


like antiviruses and antimalwares that alerts the user and protect the IoT devices. [5] lack of protection can lead to many attacks on them like unauthorized access, Eavesdropping and Spoofing. [6]


One issue that IoT users will encounter is the heavy load of traffic, that needs to be collected, processed, stored, monitored and analyzed. Which leads to increase the bandwidth of the data traffic, cost of smart devices and the need to secure IoT technology and its components. Monitoring the behavior of IoT devices traffic will be a must for businesses in the future to ensure the safety of IoT technology used. [5]


Security of network and network devices