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The Need for Cryptography in the Internet of Things (IoT)
The popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) is unquestionable; it is a growing trend and we are seeing it everywhere around us. Major tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple are heavily investing in such utilities. These companies are trendsetters and they often define the future of technology. However, as with all technology IoT devices are also subject to criticism, mostly because of their ineffective security protocols. Similar to new tech in town, IoT also comes with its fair share of security bugs.
Unfortunately, as much as the problem is apparent, there is still a struggle to develop a solution. A large number of companies that are manufacturing and working on IoT also involve smaller ones, creating their own protocols. Since there are no set standards for IoT security, the diversity in these smart devices prohibit developers from coming up with large-scale solutions to security.
Fortunately, there are alternate routes that one can take:
1- Keep All IoT Device Passwords Updated
It is necessary that the passwords of all devices stay up to date, changed now and then. This is one of the basic forms of information security that one can give to their smart-setup. Unfortunately, as easy as this sounds most IoT devices are quickly becoming outdated as better protocols emerge from high-end manufacturers. These old devices have easy setup and more of a plug-and-run nature. One must realize that a ‘security-free’ device that gains access to your Android or iOS can be a serious threat to your data.
2- Secure Your Networks
The second step is to investigate the security of the network your device is connected to. For individuals or average users, setting up a password-protected network is the basic step to protecting your network. Passwords that long, contain alphanumeric, special keys and capitalized letters are considered the best. One can even set up a guest account for visitors, eliminating further chances of unwanted approach towards your Internet of Things or the other devices.
Firewall, an electronic barrier around your network, is also an added way for network security. While OS offers its own firewall, this hardly means that your network itself will stay protected. Placing a network firewall means that all the internet traffic (IoT or otherwise) will go through a secured gateway.
VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is another way for information encryption. However, setting up encryption through VPN on your network might be difficult, and will also make connection sluggish.
3- Remove Old IoT Devices
As mentioned earlier, newer devices coming to the market mean that they have better security protocols. The older IoT devices contain a range of information up for grabs, things that you have forgotten. The old security protocols can be accessed and tampered, threatening your network ultimately.
Each device can be used as an access point, and the weaker/less secure it is, the riskier it becomes. One may consider disconnecting and replacing them with better ones.
While there are numerous other ways through which one can up its IoT security, the basic steps above are sufficient for end-users who value their information and privacy. InvoZone works to develop one of the top IoT protocols via cryptography services.