Reports indicate that over 98% of IoT devices are susceptible to the activities of hackers, which makes a zero-trust security model critical. This approach provides several procedures to secure IoT, starting with verifying each connected device. In addition, the zero-trust model gives startups and companies the leverage to get ahead of their competitors.
Notable Weaknesses of IoT Devices
Securing IoT poses several unique challenges, as traditional security protocols do not fit connected devices. The biggest shortcoming of IoT is its low processing power, which makes implementing firewalls difficult during Internet of Things software development. The multiplicity of networks in IoT also significantly increases the chance of security breaches.
This vulnerability of IoT networks leaves a channel open for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, unauthorized access, and other privacy breaches. In particular, hackers can easily access cloud-stored data, and software flaws can have life-threatening consequences, particularly when they affect healthcare or similarly critical industries and infrastructure.
The OWASP Internet of Things Project helps startups and large companies to improve security when developing IoT devices. This organization identifies the top vulnerabilities of IoT below:
Primary Weaknesses of IoT Devices
- Passwords that are easy to guess or that have been hard-coded. These passwords consist of credentials that are public, unchanging, and simple to guess by trial and error.
- Superfluous, insecure network services connected to the internet and running on the device
- Insecure interfaces to the ecosystem, including cloud environments, back-end APIs that are simple to hack, and mobile interfaces that lack authentication, authorization, or encryption tools.
- Absence of a secure update structure
The spread of COVID-19 and the steady increase of cyber-attacks are critical concerns for IoT firms creating healthcare solutions in 2021. During the pandemic, cybercrime increased by 400 percent and reached 4,000 incidents every day, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Infusion pumps, implanted devices, and wireless vital monitors are some of the most hackable healthcare systems.
Providing the right security level for IoT systems entails safeguarding devices, gateways, connections, cloud environments, and user access. The zero-trust security model in IoT aims to safeguard and enhance trust management in IoT.
What Is Zero-Trust? An Overview of the Zero-Trust Architecture Model
Two prominent examples of the zero-trust security framework are two-factor authentication and smile-to-pay face recognition. In contrast to one-time validation, the zero-trust IoT security model requires continual verification of users and devices, even those which already have approval. A zero-trust model runs on a philosophy of “never trust but always verify,” as opposed to the traditional network security philosophy of “trust but verify.”
The zero-trust architecture model handles the security of each connected device in the IoT environment. Because zero-trust sees all interactions as hostile, the device must provide evidence of identity each time it connects to the network. This means ensuring that the appropriate traits and privileges are in place.
A zero-trust security model in IoT generally entails a wide net of protection. Verification of the identity of users and devices, cloud technologies, and virtual infrastructure are all part of this process. Because of this, it’s essential to incorporate digital security services into IoT devices from the ground up, starting with the hardware type and patch level and continuing with app functionality.
The Zero-Trust IoT Model: Fundamentals of the IoT Trust Framework
The best practice is to adopt multiple solutions to protect the wide range of available connected devices, such as wearables, industrial robots, and medical monitors. Hardware, firmware, networking technologies, and user-facing apps, on the other hand, are all part of the Internet of Things. The challenge is to design each of these components with zero-trust and cybersecurity in mind.
In essence, the zero-trust model entails more than simply confirming the identity of individuals and devices attempting to connect to the network. To detect any odd activity, companies should check what information each linked device processes and which services it uses.
These zero-trust principles require extra strategies and technology. Some instances are as follows:
- Putting identity and access management (IAM) to work. This entails using tools and technologies that govern access to diverse data types, such as device data, non-sensitive data, and sensitive data. It’s about leveraging services like asset and cryptographic key management in particular. Businesses should use certificates such as the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) or DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE) to strengthen security.
- Making use of micro-segmentation. This is the technique of dividing security perimeters into tiny zones to guarantee that network components have independent access. If a breach occurs, the hacker only has access to one microsegment, not the entire network.
- Including multi-factor authorization (MFA). This incorporates many types of access verification. For example, password validation, fingerprinting, face recognition, voice recognition, gesture recognition, retina scans, and security tokens are all options in IoT applications.
- Using artificial intelligence models. Companies may use machine learning algorithms and data analysis techniques to discover security issues and defend against cyber threats.
On the whole, the zero-trust security model aids in the creation of hack-proof systems from the ground up. Multiple methods and technologies secure zero-trust IoT by allowing varying levels of access to different sorts of data and allowing for different forms of verification.
Zero-Trust Use Cases: Applications of Zero-Trust Model and IoT Trust Framework
Zero-trust techniques have proven to be effective for protecting IoT systems, giving companies in various sectors a competitive edge. The following zero-trust use cases illustrate how the zero-trust model can apply to IoT in homes and businesses.
Houses these days are loaded with IoT appliances and their attendant security risks. Users can control HVAC systems, CCTV cameras, light bulbs, and other devices centrally via a mobile remote device. Security tokens help safeguard zero-trust IoT on the hardware side. Multi-factor authentication also increases device security by allowing users to accept access with a PIN and then verify it using face or fingerprint recognition.
According to Dr. Zahid Anwar of Fontbonne University, outdoor gadgets with integrated computers that support little or no security are the most vulnerable smart house solutions. With a simple Wi-Fi transmitter, a hacker may gain access to wireless doorbells or garage door openers.
Engineers and developers can avoid such security risks throughout the production process. Every system and device must use security methods, and systems must receive all firmware upgrades promptly. It’s also critical to assist end-users in creating strong passwords and concealing the network. As one example, developers may implement password encryption and prevent users from creating hackable passwords.
Offices and other business environments are also a part of IoT integration. Consequently, the contemporary office infrastructure is more vulnerable to privacy breaches, DDoS attacks, and fraud than ever before.
Biometric verification, such as fingerprints, retinal scans, and face recognition used to be reserved for restricted or high-security areas like banking and military installations. However, all of these are now minimum standards in many modern work contexts.
Companies may utilize zero-trust to offer employees RFID for building admission, fingerprint access to specific workplaces, and a PIN to use the virtual private network. Zero-trust security also helps protect the company network and secure all connections during remote working.
With an active zero-trust security framework, companies and startups may forestall several weaknesses and potential breaches. To set up an effective zero-trust IoT security framework, knowledge of the contributing factors of malware threats in IoT is imperative. Some of these are identifiable, such as the absence of useful security updates, the rising number of IoT devices with the resultant increase in the number of endpoints, and the insecure development of tethered devices.
Cybersecurity is a top priority for IoT firms looking to offer efficient outcomes. For these companies, their main assignment is to integrate digital security into the product from the bottom up, taking into account all stages of development.