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I have been researching the security measures that have been set in place for wearable devices such as fit-bits, apple watches, etc. My research has also been into the security measures taken for cellular phones, and wireless routers. These types of devices are extremely popular, and you rarely see someone without these things on them, or in their homes. My research investigates what types of attacks can be performed through these devices, what the companies are doing to protect users against threats, and how we can protect ourselves and our privacy. My research proves that many consumers do not realize that these types of devices pose a risk, as they believe the company would handle all security measures pertaining to the device, but I have found that is not always true.
There is a definite lack of security when it comes to IoT (Internet of Things) devices. There needs to be more awareness surrounding this issue so that consumers will no longer easily fall prey to cyber-criminals or cyber-attacks.
I. Cyber Security Risks with the IoT
A. Wearable Devices
1. Wearable devices are being sold with little to no security provisions.
2. Security for IoT wearable devices should be of the utmost importance.
3. What types of attacks can occur due to the lack of security provisions?
II. The Integrated Circuit Metric (IC Metric) Technology
A. An alternative method to stored keys and as a basis for cryptographic services
1. Prevents impersonation attacks
2. Prevents spoofing attacks
3. Discourages cyber attackers from using these methods.
B. Micro electrical and mechanical systems (MEMs)
1. MEMs is a technology that mimics conventional electrical and mechanical systems at a micro scale
2. MEMS based sensors are being embedded into smartphones, laptops, vehicles and wearable devices
3. The most common MEMs sensors are the accelerometer and the gyroscope.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becoming increasingly popular in our lives. These types of devices include cellular phones, smart watches, health trackers, wireless routers, smart security systems, and many more. These types of devices are often powered by sensors that gather information from their surroundings that are then relayed to cloud storage systems, not only for storage but for analysis as well. I think that we can all agree that these types of devices add so much convenience to our lives, but the real question is, what element of danger does it add to our lives? These types of devices are constantly connecting us with a world that we cannot see, a world that is full of cyber criminals, waiting around every corner for their next innocent victim.
If you are using these types of devices in your home, then please be aware and make sure that you are taking the proper precautions to avoid cyber-attacks.
By connecting more devices to more networks, we are creating more risks. For example, there are more than three billion smart phones that are currently being used, and eight billion IoT devices. This scale is massive and is rapidly growing on an almost daily basis. Many of these devices are believed to be 100% safe by consumers, but unfortunately that is not the case. It is 100% necessary for the consumer to secure “the things” themselves. I do not believe that security for IoT devices is a “one size fits all” type of deal, as each device is different and will have different vulnerabilities. There are many things that would need to be taken into consideration when thinking of security measures for these devices, for example, cost for implementation of security measures, risks associated with the device, and the overall best fit for the device.
If IoT devices are not properly secured they can face several cyber-security attacks. Examples of the types of attacks this could include are: Physical cyber-attacks, which would be from a breach to the IoT sensors. An estimated seventy percent of cyber-attacks happen from the inside, whether that be on purpose or by pure human error. When a physical cyber-attack occurs, this means that it happens from a proximity, like by inserting a USB drive. Network cyber-attacks, which do not require actual physical access to create a major issue within your network. These types of attackers would access your network-based devices to see what is flowing. They often insert themselves between you and your device (Man in the middle) and can steal your information. Software attacks are a common IoT security risk and these types of attacks occur when malware is installed into your devices program. This malicious type of software will send a virus that will corrupt or outright steal your data and will interrupt and “spy” on your activities on your device. An encryption attack is also another type of attack that is common with IoT devices. This attack will strike at the very core of your system. They often install their own algorithms and take complete control of your system. It is necessary that consumers take control of their devices by making sure they are taking the proper measures to secure their devices.
The use of IC metric technology has been recommended as a provision for security measures with IoT devices. IC Metric will use the feature of a device to help generate an identification which will then be used for the provision of cryptographic services. Wearable devices often operate in group settings, an IC Metric technology would generate a group identification, which would then deliver services such as authentication, confidentiality, secure admission and symmetric key generation. Cryptographers are trying to stay ahead of the game by increasing key sizes to make them computationally infeasible for an attacker to brute force the keys. Keys are stored in the system, which makes them a target for cyber-attackers. Any effort to increase key size to protect the systems is rendered useless if the system is successfully attacked and they keys are captured. (Hasan Tahir, Ruhma) This could very well be a big part of the answer to the IoT devices need for security measures. Another widely recommended security measure was MEMS (Micro Electrical and Mechanical System) sensors. MEMS is a technology that mimics conventional electrical and mechanical systems at a micro scale. There are a wide variety of MEMS based sensors that are embedded into smart phones, laptops, vehicles and most wearable devices. The most popular types of MEMS sensors are the accelerometer and the gyroscope. Accelerometers are made to measure the acceleration of an object, while the gyroscopes measure angular velocity. The accelerometer and gyroscope bias in sensors are used to determine the IC Metric identification of devices. The IC Metric technology will deter key theft and form a basis for cryptographic services, but it does not add to the resource demand of the target system. (Tahir, H)
In conclusion, my research on the IoT devices and their security measures was very eye opening. An estimated 27 billion things will be connected to the internet by the year 2020, while 100 new things are added to the internet every single second of the day. These numbers are huge and growing every day. I do not think that consumers are warned about security issues with these types of devices enough, including myself. Prior to my research I had never really thought about the vulnerabilities that these types of deices have. I use my iPhone, fit-bit, and laptop daily. I have almost always been wary about my phone and security measures to keep it safe, but it never really crossed my mind that my fit-bit would be storing personal information that could be used to harm me in the end. I will never look at these types of devices the same again, and I will always try to ensure that I do my best to keep all my devices secure from cyber-attackers and cyber-attacks. It really does amaze me that something like my router can be used as an attack to get my personal information. I am so thankful that I took this course and did this research, as it has made me realize there is a “cyber world” out there that we may not physically see, but it exists. I think that the makers of these devices should warn consumers in a better matter, or work harder to make security measures with the devices better.
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