Why IoT Security Matters: The Top Risks, Challenges and Solutions

Why IoT Security Matters: The Top Risks, Challenges and Solutions

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices and objects — or, ‘things’ — that all connect to the wider internet. These devices are integral to modern society and are prevalent within virtually every business nowadays. This means, as with any part of your business’s IT infrastructure, IoT security is vital.

But what are the risks that you could face? How do you begin to solve the issues that the IoT can bring to your organisation? For the uninitiated, understanding the IoT and how to protect your organisation from these threats can seem overwhelming.

That’s why in this article, we’re going to go over the risks that the IoT naturally bring and the challenges that businesses face when considering the IoT, as well as solutions to these pervasive issues.



Cyberattacks are a very realistic threat for any organisation. After all, the number of cyberattacks occurring per year is growing, and so organisations need to be vigilant to stop attackers before it’s far too late.

Unfortunately, the nature of the IoT means that it leaves massive vulnerability for cyber attackers to pry open a window of opportunity. When combined with the necessity of the IoT within a modern business environment, the threat of a cyberattack through the IoT becomes one that needs to be considered —

  • Large Number of Attack Vectors: Due to the sheer number and diversity of IoT devices, there is a large attack surface that can be taken advantage of.
  • Weak Security Considerations: A lot of the IoT devices within your organisation may have weak security measures, meaning that you could have a lot of vulnerabilities.
  • Infrastructural Concerns: A lot of organisations rely on the IoT to help with day-to-day operations. A cyber attacker could easily take advantage of this and attack the IoT to cripple the organisation by disabling these devices.
  • Unknown Attack Angle: Due to the severe lack of education on the IoT, this is a relatively unnoticed and unknown attack angle that can be exploited with ease, making it a high-value target for anyone looking towards your organisation.

Because of these issues and many others, the IoT provides a great opportunity for cyber attackers to breach your organisation, meaning that extra vigilance is required here to ensure that you’re protected.

Data Breaches

The IoT also causes data breach risks for your organisation, which means that your most sensitive data is in danger of being breached and potentially falling out of your control.

In addition to the dangers above that make the IoT so easy to breach, here are some other risks and considerations —

  • Data Collection: IoT devices tend to collect large amounts of data to do whatever they need, and so any form of vulnerability or attack on these devices could lead to information being leaked.
  • Data Storage: Data used with IoT devices is frequently stored in databases or cloud servers — which, if protected poorly, could be very vulnerable to data breaches.
  • Third-Party Software: IoT devices tend to use third-party software to be able to complete their tasks, which means that a bad piece of software that goes unnoticed could haemorrhage data away from your organisation.


Lack of Standards

The lack of standards in the IoT is a massive concern, as it leads to a few different issues that could be a massive security risk for your organisation.

Firstly, the lack of standardization means that everything is proprietary — from software to hardware. This means that things don’t work very well together and that the security within the IoT devices is not at a standard level.

Secondly, the lack of standards means that there is a massive lack of regulatory requirements for devices, meaning that security standards on some products can be very low compared to others.

IoT Awareness

A massive reason for the IoT being a massive risk for organisations is the lack of awareness of it. For many organisations, external devices from reputable companies are probably not a massive security concern — but, the way it works is something that doesn’t tend to be considered.

In fact, a lot of this leads to problems throughout organisations when considering IoT. For example, a lot of IoT devices are rogue devices — meaning that they’ve been installed without the oversight of the IT department within an organisation, meaning that it’s near impossible to ensure that they’re secure.


Next-Generation Firewalls

Firewalls have always been a massive part of security for any organisation. By utilising a firewall, you can control what goes into and out of your organisation’s network.

Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) are the evolution of firewalls — they provide capabilities far beyond a traditional firewall. This includes threat intelligence and intrusion prevention and can protect your organisation from any incoming threats from a mile away.

Microsoft Defender for IoT

Microsoft Defender for IoT is Microsoft’s security tool for IoT security. It provides context-aware visibility — to ensure that you can see everything going on in your organisation — as well as advanced threat detection with behavioural analytics to jump on incoming threats before they can strike.

Using Microsoft Defender Asset Map, you can easily discover the devices throughout your network, which lets you find the root cause of any problems that are arising within the IoT in your organisation.

How We Can Help

The IoT is an integral part of every organisation, but being aware of the different security risks and challenges that come with it is the difference between being prepared for an attack and otherwise. By using tools such as Microsoft Defender for IoT and a good NGFW, you can easily ensure that your organisation is protected from anyone trying to breach the IoT.

If you’re looking to get started with boosting your organisation’s security, reach out to us today. Our experts will be able to help you ensure that you’re sorted when it comes to securing your organisation, and you’ll have a helping hand in the future that can help with anything you require.

Contact us now and see how we can help.