The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming the backbone for everything from big data and business intelligence to health, entertainment, communication, shipping, and transportation. At the same time, cyber threats to IoT devices are on the rise, posing risks to both businesses and consumers.
CSO reports that IoT devices faced three times more attacks in the first half of 2019 than previously. As we continue the shift to 5G, our online networks, devices, and applications face even more security issues.
Internet of Moving Things (IoMT) devices in particular face a number of risks. These devices, such as Teslas, iPhones, and FitBits, are not fixed in a single location. With more consumers centering their lives around smart technologies and more businesses adopting IoMT devices, cybersecurity for the Internet of Moving Things has become a critical issue in need of our attention.
What Exactly Is the Internet of Moving Things?
The Internet of Moving Things is a subset of the Internet of Things. It describes technology that has some kind of mobility and is not stationary. As with other Internet of Things devices, these technologies are able to collect and transfer data wirelessly.
Many of today’s advanced online devices fall into the category of IoMT. Smartphones, smartwatches, robots, and autonomous vehicles can include IoMT technology.
Technology that can move (such as cars, trains, or buses) or move with people (such as smartphones and smartwatches) can replace a variety of other devices and equipment. Streamlining various functions into a single piece of tech instead of many is especially useful when that tech needs to travel.
Smartphones, for example, have already begun to replace landlines, wallets, alarm clocks, CD players, and many other forms of technology. We can carry all of these capabilities around in our pockets as a single device.
The evolution of the Internet of Moving Things is beneficial for both users and businesses alike. Having access to information about location and personal interests, as well as being able to monitor data across multiple devices in different environments, gives people a thorough breakdown of their own lives. It also helps companies design products and technologies that make people’s lives easier.
What Makes IoMT a Target for Cyber Criminals?
With these more valuable data and insights collected by IoMT devices come additional cyber threats. In particular, IoMT’s use of motion sensors and its widespread business applications make it an appealing target. Investing in cybersecurity for Internet of Moving Things will be even more critical as IoMT devices gain an increasing amount of data on our movements and interactions with our environment.
The Importance of Motion Sensors in IoMT
One specific piece of technology that has been instrumental in the advancement of the Internet of Moving Things is motion sensors. This technology can be seen in almost every kind of IoMT technology, including:
- Health and fitness equipment
- Gaming devices
- Electronic textiles
- Shipping and tracking devices
- Remote controls
- Video cameras
The list goes on and on. Motion sensors can facilitate IoMT devices’ mobility. They also provide consumers with an interactive experience when using their devices.
Tesla, for example, sells vehicle models with motion sensor technology that can sense a person, street signs, or large objects in the road, allowing the self-driving car to stop in an attempt to make roads safer. This technology assists humans in the driving process and gives Tesla vehicles more autonomy.
The simplest sensors can only detect changes in their surroundings (such as changes to temperature, speed, or motion in an environment) and report those changes. As IoMT devices become more sophisticated, they are likely to include more artificially intelligent sensors and data fusion technologies.
AI-powered sensors can act based on their findings, while data fusion aggregates information from a variety of sources into a single source to deliver more sophisticated and comprehensive data. Cybercriminals may attempt to hijack these systems, either to gain access to valuable data or to tamper with AI sensors and the actions they take.
The Internet of Moving Things in Business
The Internet of Moving Things is transforming business in many important ways. Businesses can improve their processes and products based on increased insights gathered from data centers, production systems, and motion sensors. Utilizing the Internet of Moving Things in assembly lines, warehouses, shipping, and vehicles can help companies know how well their systems are functioning and reveal areas for potential improvements.
Businesses can also leverage the Internet of Moving Things to provide enhanced customer service. According to a Forbes Business Insights survey, 42% of businesses surveyed have reported improvements in personalizing the customer experience after investing in IoT. Most IoMT technology can deliver data in real time. With real-time data delivery, businesses can respond quickly and more accurately to the concerns of their customers.
The integration of Internet of Moving Things technology makes businesses more efficient as well. Mobile digitization reduces the costs of production and increases market returns. Businesses like trucking companies can use IoMT technology through sensors on shipping trucks, for example. This allows the trucks to be rerouted while on the road, optimizing the delivery experience by saving time and money.
Businesses can greatly benefit from investing in the Internet of Moving Things, because this technology combines large amounts of data with intelligence. This can be the perfect combination to trigger business growth. Capitalizing on the data capabilities and the wide variety of data sources that IoMT devices provide can give businesses a more detailed understanding of their customers’ needs.
At the same time, organizations must be sure to provide cybersecurity for Internet of Moving Things devices. As IoMT technology is increasingly leveraged to produce better customer service experiences, hackers will look for ways to steal or ransom the private customer data driving those improved outcomes. While IoMT devices become more integrated with our assembly lines, warehouses, and shipping trucks, cybercriminals will surely be looking for ways to hijack these systems for their own malicious purposes.
7 Common Cybersecurity Challenges for Internet of Moving Things
1. Large Quantity of Devices
Compared to average IT systems, there are many more Internet of Moving Things devices in circulation, making them more difficult to manage. A larger number and variety of devices demands more complex asset management.
The fact that many of these devices are produced by different companies complicates matters as well, making them even more diverse. With different IoMT devices following different protocols and requiring different configurations, updates, and security, there is more room for error and oversight that could leave them vulnerable to a cyberattack.
2. Less Memory and Computational Capabilities
Typically, Internet of Moving Things devices have less memory and computational capabilities than the average IT device. Many IoMT technologies, like smartwatches or automobiles, do not have the memory, storage, or computational power for encrypted cybersecurity. Without encryption capabilities, standardizing cybersecurity for Internet of Moving Things devices is a significant challenge.
3. Vulnerability to Cyberattacks
Many Internet of Moving Things technologies are vulnerable to multiple forms of cyberattacks, including attacks against their hardware, applications, network, or platforms.
Hardware attacks take advantage of weaknesses in an IT system via its hardware. IoMT devices often operate in public spaces where hackers can easily access their hardware, putting them at greater risk than devices locked in an office space.
An application attack occurs when a hacker gains access to an IT system’s applications. These types of attacks are especially dangerous, allowing for configuration of an IoMT device without detection from the device’s network.
Attackers may be able to access confidential customer data like credit card numbers, addresses, passwords, and health information. They may also enable hackers to modify, delete, or encrypt data.
A network attack involves hackers gaining access to a device’s network. Cybercriminals often use network attacks to monitor, alter, or steal data, similarly to an application attack.
Because IoMT devices move from one place to another, they connect to a number of different networks. Often, this includes public Wi-Fi, which is far less secure and more vulnerable to network attacks.
The Internet of Moving Things is also particularly vulnerable to passive network attacks, known as eavesdropping. Eavesdropping works best with systems that have weak or no encryption, including most IoMT devices.
Platform attacks exploit vulnerabilities in cloud computing. Many IoMT devices, such as smartphones, communicate and store information with a cloud operating system. If a hacker can access a device’s cloud software, they have indirect access to the device and its sensitive consumer data.
4. Outdated Software
The vast majority of Internet of Moving Things devices require updates to fix glitches or install new software or applications. However, many companies are more focused on creating new devices than maintaining the security and condition of their current products.
Infrequent software updates make devices susceptible to attacks when bugs or security weaknesses are discovered. These devices will remain vulnerable until they are appropriately updated, leaving them open to potential breaches of sensitive consumer and company data.
5. Weak Credentials
In 2019 and 2020, hackers have taken advantage of poor password practices to attack printers, phones, and other IoT devices. IoT manufacturers are particularly guilty of setting easily guessed default passwords on their devices. For instance, Security Intelligence reports that “123456” was the default password for 600,000 GPS devices, leaving these IoMT devices and their data inadequately protected.
6. Detecting Attacks Is Difficult
The quantity and diversity of IoMT devices not only makes them difficult to manage, but also difficult to monitor. IoMT devices may be connected to many other IT systems, including multiple networks, clouds, and applications. As the number of connected devices continues to increase, companies are scrambling to meet the growing demands for their monitoring. Without effective and continuous cyber monitoring, vulnerabilities and breaches can go undetected.
7. Smart Home Security and Devices
Increasingly, IoT and even IoMT devices are being designed for home connectivity. There are residential homes and even corporate buildings today powered entirely by smart devices and technology with little cybersecurity. With something as simple as an IP address, cybercriminals can gain access to the names, address, and tax information associated with a smart home.
Protect Your Internet of Moving Things Devices with SDi
Cybersecurity for Internet of Moving Things is a must for all businesses that use IoMT devices. With the expert help of a highly skilled and trustworthy cybersecurity team, you can employ a robust combination of solutions to protect yourself from both common and emerging threats.
At Sentient Digital, Inc., we create a comprehensive cybersecurity plan specifically tailored to your organization’s IT structure and needs. Our team is fully equipped to handle your security, as well as a range of other services for one-time technology projects or ongoing and complete IT management.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help with your cybersecurity!
In addition, we’re always on the lookout for fresh talent. We are proud to offer competitive benefits and exciting opportunities to perform innovative work on everything from cybersecurity to systems engineering, software development, and IT support. If you are an IT professional interested in our career opportunities, search our available jobs or contact us to learn more.