The Internet is not only a means to get information, but it has a wide range of applications these days. The latest is the Internet of things (IoT), which is a network of physical objects. These are devices embedded with software, sensors, and other technologies for connecting and exchanging data with various devices over the Internet.
From home security cameras and door locks to kitchen appliances, medical devices, thermostats, and set-top boxes; the number of IoT devices has been growing rapidly. However, security remains a major concern for IoT devices. The US Federal government’s decision to re-introduce an act to improve IoT cybersecurity has grabbed everyone’s attention on this issue.
Despite IoT being a prime victim of cyber-attacks, IoT device manufacturers give more emphasis on connectivity and functionality of the devices over security. With the re-emergence of Mirai, a malware that targets smart devices, the concern about how Triton malware entered IoT devices has shaken up everyone. It has highlighted the importance of protecting IoT devices.
The stakeholders are more concerned about the security of IoT devices, and they are speculating on safeguarding the IoT going forward. Some are suggesting using AI and blockchain technology to fix this problem, but as of now, it doesn’t provide a viable option since blockchain suffers from scaling challenges. How to secure IoT devices? Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates offer the most effective security solution among IoT companies. Experts say trusted SSL certificates offer the highest level of IoT security.
Some Common Security Threats to IoT Devices and Network
The IoT network has been under attack from the beginning. Hackers are finding new ways to target those devices. However, some threats are very common, and most IoT devices are vulnerable to these risks. Let’s look at the most prevalent security threats to the IoT network.
● Weak Passwords
Weak passwords have been one of the reasons for attacks on IoT devices. Many of us ignore the security risks and put anything as a password just because it is necessary and not to keep our devices secure. Passwords such as 123456, abcdef, or qwerty are vulnerable and cyber criminals randomly try them to access the devices. One weak password can cause a cyber-attack and put your personal and company data at risk. However, complex passcodes can provide security to most IoT devices. A strong password should contain at least characters with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
It is critical to maintaining password hygiene to safeguard your IoT devices. If you run a business, you must ensure everyone in your organization adheres to the password guideline to ensure security and prevent cyber-attacks.
Cyber criminals these days use internet-enabled devices to steal data, attack companies’ networks, or send spam messages. There is a type of malware called botnets. Hackers often use them to access IoT devices, and networks and enter a company’s server, which can be dangerous to any business.
As devices are getting smart, and more devices are getting Internet-enabled, the threat is increasing. It is essential to keep an eye on the new threats and their behaviors to prevent attacks.
● AI-Based Attacks
Artificial Intelligence is a new technology, and everyone is trying to make the most of it. Cyber criminals are using it to find new ways to steal data and hinder companies’ operations. IoT devices are facing new threats as hackers are now creating advanced AI-powered programs that are more effective to carry out cyber-attacks. Using AI enables them to carry out large-scale operations and attack thousands of devices in a few minutes, which makes it difficult to prevent such attacks.
What is the significance of IoT SSL Certificates?
SSL certificates are an excellent way to secure websites and mobile applications. These digital certificates encrypt the user’s data and create a secure connection between the browser and website server, preventing any third party from accessing any information entered by the user. Due to robust security features, you can use SSL certificates to boost the security of IoT devices.
Every IoT device communicates with the network through Application Programming Interface (API). It is a protocol that facilitates data exchange between various devices over the Internet. IoT SSL certificates ensure encrypted data exchange between IoT devices on the network in the following ways.
An IoT device can be powered with a trusted SSL certificate, which makes it secure for the users to connect to it using their smartphone or other devices, just like they access a secure website. Digital certificates from a trusted SSL certificate provider ensure users don’t have to click through a security warning, and they can securely connect to the IoT devices.
Once an IoT SSL certificate is installed on a device, it creates an encrypted connection between an IoT device and the user’s device. It protects critical information such as credit or debit card details, social security numbers, etc. during the data transmission.
How does the IoT SSL Certificate work?
SSL certificates we use for websites and applications encrypt users’ input and change them into unreadable signs that no criminals can decipher. The IoT certificate also works the same way. It establishes a secure connection between the device and the app preventing any third party from accessing the data. Even if the criminal accesses them, they won’t be able to decipher them as SSL certificates transfer the data into unreadable form.
Most IoT devices use a local area network (LAN), which is vulnerable. Hackers can easily sneak through such networks due to poor security. SSL Certificates provide an additional layer of safety as it allows users to validate their identities. The encryption-decryption technologies used by SSL certificates confirm the authentication of users’ devices before allowing access to data.
When you use an SSL certificate, the data packets are encrypted using a public key, which can be decrypted by the safety key given to the user. The safety keys are just like private and public keys depending on the encryption type in the SSL Certificate.
There are two types of encryptions when you secure IoT networks with SSL Certificates; symmetric and asymmetric encryption. In the case of symmetric encryption, both the security keys are the same; however, in the case of asymmetric encryption, the security keys are different.
SSL certificates provide encryption through cryptographic algorithms, so choosing the most trusted SSL Certificates provider is the best option. Here, Comodo SSL certificate, GlobalSign SSL Certificate, or Thawte SSL certificate provides the highest level of security to IoT networks. Nevertheless, now that you are aware of how IoT SSL certificates work, let’s understand how it is crucial for the security of your organization.
❖ SSL certificate encrypts data
If you are wondering how to secure an IoT network with an SSL certificate, encryption is the answer. SSL certificate encrypts data packets before sending them to and from the devices. If some criminal hacks the network or any device and tries to access the data, they cannot because it is changed into an unreadable form.
❖ SSL certificate ensures data integrity
Data integrity is essential for every business. A single incident of a data breach can lead to a severe cyber-attack. An SSL Certificate ensures data integrity by allowing every employee to authenticate data access. It ensures the highest level of data integrity while securing your system. Besides that, using SSL certificates with multi-factor authentication provides a robust security system for your IoT network.
Advantages of IoT SSL Certificate
SSL certificates are an excellent way to secure your data and enable the authentication of IoT devices. Besides that, there are other advantages of an IoT SSL certificate:
- When you use an SSL certificate, you do not need specific tokens or any static IDs that hackers can exploit.
- It provides better encryption, authentications, and data integrity.
- A single SSL certificate allows you to secure multiple IoT devices at the same time.
- You can manage IoT devices with different SSL certificates using a certificate management tool.
- You can customize SSL certificates according to your organization’s specific requirements.
- SSL certificate is a cost-effective way to secure your IoT device and network; you can get them without spending a significant amount of money.
Whether you are a businessman or an individual, smart devices are a part of our lives as they bring a lot of conveniences. However, as new technologies are emerging hackers are finding new ways to attack networks, and IoT is no exception. Using anti-virus and other security systems is not so effective. However, you can secure IoT networks with SSL Certificates. These digital certificates provide excellent protection against data theft during transmission; you can rely on them to safeguard your personal and business devices. However, make sure to choose a trusted SSL certificate provider to ensure the best protection for your IoT devices. Another thing to keep in mind while choosing an IoT SSL certificate is the number of devices you need to protect. Get your SSL certificate without delay; you never know when some hacker will sneak through your IoT network.