Protecting IoT devices from cyberattacks: A critical missing piece: Page 6 of 13

August 10, 2017 //By Alan Grau, Icon Labs
When it comes to protecting IoT devices from cyber attacks, both device hardening and security appliance approaches each has its supporters, but there are trade-offs between “device-centric” and “appliance-centric.”

Intrusion detection

Many embedded devices lack basic security features, making them easy targets for hackers. As a result, hackers have specifically target embedded devices. Devices such as point-of-sale systems, HVAC systems, and medical devices have been exploited.

Most cyber attacks occur in phases, beginning with hackers probing a network looking for, finding, and exploiting a vulnerable device. Once this initial beachhead is established, hackers use the exploited device to probe deeper into network. The cycle repeats with hackers gradually expanding their reach within the network. Stopping the attacks begins with early detection.

Intrusion Detection Systems and Intrusion Detection Software (IDS) are commonplace in enterprise networks and PCs. IDS, as the name implies, detects when a system is under attack or being probed. These solutions can take many forms and detect many different types of attacks, but regardless of form, are in the main, largely absent for embedded devices.

Adding IDS capabilities to embedded devices is critical to providing early warning of a cyber attack. The ability to detect and report potentially malicious activity enables system administrators to take action to block attacks, quarantine compromised systems, and protect their networks. If embedded devices can support basic IDS they will no longer be easy targets for hackers.

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