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According to IoT Analytics’s latest report, the number of worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) connections increased by 8% in 2021 to 12.2 billion active endpoints in May 2022. This was much lower growth than in the years preceding the COVID-19 epidemic. The slower increase was mostly due to supply concerns rather than demand, which remains high owing to all of the potential enabled by IoT devices and systems.
The growth of the IoT brings countless benefits to both companies and individuals, but its rapid spread brings with it a burning problem to be solved. Ensuring the security of these products is one of the most critical tasks for manufacturers and cybersecurity professionals today. Based on one of the latest statistics, the number of IoT attacks reached over 10.8 million in October 2020 globally.
Finding effective solutions to solve security issues connected with these consumer IoT devices is getting more and more important as their use grows. Maintaining the security of devices and systems as well as the constant monitoring and elimination of possible security gaps, therefore, should be handled as an absolute priority for manufacturers.
In this article, we will look at some of the most severe security issues customers encounter while using consumer IoT devices and how manufacturers can prevent these difficulties by establishing proper security measures. We also present how we at the CCLab, the agile cybersecurity laboratory can support manufacturers to get their consumer IoT products evaluated or prepare for the assessment and certification process of eligible security standards.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical things, such as gadgets, cars, and buildings, that are supplied with sensors, software, and network connectivity in order to collect and share data. IoT devices may interact with one another as well as with other systems, forming a network of linked devices that can be monitored and managed remotely.
By delivering real-time data and enhancing efficiency, IoT technology has the potential to transform industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation. The data created by IoT devices may be evaluated to enhance processes, automate jobs, and make better decisions. As the Internet of Things evolves, it will most certainly play a larger part in our everyday lives, opening new prospects for creativity and efficiency.
Both the IoT and consumer IoT employ sensors and connections to collect, transmit and share data, consumer IoT devices, however, often have a more limited scope and are primarily focused on enhancing ease and comfort in the home or personal settings.
IoT is intended for usage in a variety of sectors and enterprises, whilst consumer IoT devices are meant for personal use by individuals and homes.
The Internet of Things has a broad reach and may be utilized in a variety of sectors and applications, such as healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. Consumer IoT, on the other hand, is focused on personal and home usage and includes devices such as smart home appliances, entertainment devices, wearables, and linked products.
IoT may employ a variety of communication methods, including cellular networks, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Consumer IoT devices frequently rely on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, with few cellular connectivity possibilities.
Managing IoT devices is a complex task. It requires specific knowledge and experience to implement and maintain. Consumer IoT devices are often meant to be simple to use and install, with the minimum technical knowledge necessary.
IoT may encompass a broad variety of data kinds, such as environmental data, industrial data, and machine data. Consumer IoT devices, on the other hand, collect personal and lifestyle data such as health and fitness information, location data, entertainment preferences, and home automation information.
According to a fresh IoT-related study, smart homes are the leading consumer IoT. When it comes to consumer devices, smart eyewear and the next generation of smart wearables are expected to be significant growers.
There are numerous types of consumer IoT devices available in the market, including:
Home automation consumer IoT refers to the use of smart devices and systems to automate and remotely control different elements of a house, including lighting, heating, security, and entertainment. Users may operate and monitor their houses from anywhere using their smartphones, tablets, or laptops, thanks to sensors, cameras, and voice assistants.
Fitness trackers, smartwatches, and smart eyewear are examples of consumer IoT worn on the body. They can deliver real-time feedback and notifications while collecting data about the wearer's activities, health, and location.
Smart TVs, streaming devices, and smart speakers let consumers access and control a broad variety of entertainment material using their voice or a smartphone app.
IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) devices are smart gadgets used in healthcare to remotely monitor patients, control medications, and collect health and fitness data. They continuously check vital signs and notify healthcare providers of any irregularities. IoMT devices also aid in the monitoring of chronic illnesses, the prevention of hospital readmissions, and provide tailored treatment. IoMT device data may be used for research, offering vital insights into illness prevention and management.
Smart home appliances are household products that can be operated remotely through the internet or a smartphone app, such as refrigerators, washing machines, and ovens. Homeowners can control their homes more easily and effectively with smart home equipment, making their everyday life easier and more pleasurable.
This consumer IoT helps keep homes and families safe. Smart home security consumer IoT devices include alarms, CCTV, video doorbells, and smoke detectors.
Due to their internet connectivity and data-gathering capabilities, consumer IoT devices are subject to security breaches and cyberattacks. Weak passwords, insecure network connections, and out-of-date software can expose these devices to hackers putting sensitive personal information at risk. The main consumer security concerns include:
Wireless communication protocols are frequently used by consumer IoT devices to connect to the internet and other devices. These networks and links, however, are frequently insecure, rendering them open to hacking and other malicious access. Hackers can intercept the data being broadcast and use it to steal important information or even take control of the device.
Consumer IoT devices collect and store a massive quantity of data, including sensitive information such as health data, location data, and financial information. IoT devices without proper data privacy protection make this information potentially exposed to hackers for identity theft, blackmail, and other harmful purposes.
The lack of frequent security upgrades for consumer IoT devices is an ongoing issue that poses substantial security threats. Manufacturers may not prioritize the supply of frequent security upgrades due to the disposable nature of many IoT devices and the related cheaper production costs. As a result, vulnerabilities are created that may be exploited by attackers, who can then utilize these flaws to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or systems.
Physical assaults against consumer IoT devices, such as tampering or theft, can occur too. An attacker can obtain access to data stored on a device or use the device to launch assaults on other systems if it is physically compromised. Environmental variables, such as exposure to severe temperatures or dampness, can potentially cause damage or deactivate the device.
Consumer IoT security breaches may have a substantial impact on customers in a variety of ways:
With the increased deployment of IoT devices in homes and workplaces, security should be manufacturers' main priority to ensure their products are safe to prevent attackers from getting unauthorized access to customers' personal and sensitive data. To achieve this goal, manufacturers have to prioritize cybersecurity during the product development process and apply risk-mitigation techniques.
Compliance with established cybersecurity standards and guidelines is one of the primary ways manufacturers can prioritize security. ETSI EN 303 645 is an internationally acknowledged cybersecurity standard intended primarily for consumer IoT devices.
It aims to protect consumer IoT devices from the most frequent cybersecurity attacks by specifying the security criteria that manufacturers have to follow while designing and producing them.
To get certified, consumer IoT manufacturers must comply with the requirements outlined in the standards. ETSI EN 303 645 covers 33 cybersecurity standards and 35 cybersecurity recommendations.
In addition to complying with applicable cybersecurity measures, manufacturers should use a variety of measures to secure consumer IoT devices and end users.
Another key part of ensuring consumer IoT security is to supply devices with frequent security upgrades. To address newly identified vulnerabilities and growing threats, manufacturers should prioritize the distribution of security updates and patches. This may be accomplished by implementing an over-the-air (OTA) update system, which allows for the automated transmission of updates to IoT devices without the need for human participation.
CCLab Ltd. was established in 2013 as a lean cybersecurity laboratory specializing in Common Criteria and different other types of data security evaluations and consultations. We joined the QIMA group earlier this year, an internationally recognized Testing, Inspection, and Certification company with 60 offices and laboratories operating in over 100 countries. We will use this significant business step of our company for the benefit of our customers in countless ways, including with our expanded range of services for consumer IoT manufacturers:
Are you looking for professional and experienced support to evaluate your consumer IoT device? Contact us today!
According to Cynerio, a healthcare IoT cybersecurity company, 53% of connected medical equipment in hospitals has a known critical cybersecurity vulnerability. A third of bedside connected devices used in healthcare settings have an identified critical risk, which is definitely more worrying in terms of patient safety. This is just one of the many reasons why on 5th April 2017, the European Parliament voted to adopt the awaited Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and In vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR). One of the most critical goals of the new Regulations is to strengthen medical device cybersecurity.
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