The Digitalist Team
February 28, 2023

Consumer IoT security issues you should consider - and how to avoid them


min reading time

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.

A large part of these IoT devices is used in our daily lives, in our homes and workplaces 

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.

Definition of IoT

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.

The growing importance of cybersecurity for consumer IoT devices

Key differences between IoT, and consumer IoT

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.

Targeted audience

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.

Data types

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.

Consumer IoT devices

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

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.

Digital device to control temperature system in a smart home

Smart wearable devices

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 devices for entertainment

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 devices - health, and wellness

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.

Smartwatch is a poplular IoT device 

Smart home appliances

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.

Smart home security

This consumer IoT helps keep homes and families safe. Smart home security consumer IoT devices include alarms, CCTV, video doorbells, and smoke detectors.

Security concerns of consumer IoT

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:

Unsecured Connections

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.

Inadequate data privacy

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.

Lack of security updates

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 threats

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.

How can security breaches affect end customers?

Consumer IoT security breaches may have a substantial impact on customers in a variety of ways:

  • Privacy: security breaches might jeopardize the privacy and confidentiality of a customer's personal and sensitive data. Hackers can get access to personal information such as names, addresses, financial information, and health data, which can be exploited for identity theft or other nefarious reasons.

Securit of laptops and other consumer IoT devices should be manufacturers' main priority

  • Financial loss: security gaps might result in financial losses for clients. Attackers may exploit hacked devices to commit fraud, such as making illicit purchases or accessing financial accounts. 
  • Physical security risks: if an attacker takes control of a smart home device such as a door lock or security camera, they may be able to access the property posing a physical security risk to the customer and their family.
  • Decreased credibility: consumer IoT security breaches can potentially lead to a loss of trust in IoT technology, limiting the technology's potential. Consumers may be less likely to prefer using IoT devices if they believe their confidential data is insecure. This may hinder the expansion of the IoT business and its potential customer advantages.

Security should be the consumer IoT manufacturer’s main priority 

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.

Cybersecurity standards

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.

Other security measures

In addition to complying with applicable cybersecurity measures, manufacturers should use a variety of measures to secure consumer IoT devices and end users. 

These include:

  • Secure boot and firmware upgrades
  • Frequent vulnerability assessments
  • Secured authentication procedures and user data transmission

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.

How can CCLab help?

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:

  • Training and consultancy: our professional workshops, training, and consultancy services are designed to help developers achieve ETSI EN 303 645 compliance. We offer advice and document templates for preparing the DUT, ICS, IXIT, and other documents required for a successful evaluation.
  • Gap analysis: We can assist you in assessing your consumer IoT product to identify gaps between existing security implementation and the provisions stated in ETSI EN 303 645.
  • Product Evaluation and Statement of Conformity: Based on the applicable requirements of ETSI EN 303 645, we analyze the product and present the detected security flaws. When the assessed product complies with the standards established in ETSI EN 303 645, we issue a Statement of Conformity.

Are you looking for professional and experienced support to evaluate your consumer IoT device? Contact us today!

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