What are IoT Security Challenges?

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September 4, 2019

Internet of things (IoT) is the network of devices connected over the internet which enables them to communicate with each other and exchange data over the network. 

Internet of things has gained the attraction of many researchers. A huge amount of research has been done by experts and researchers to improve the privacy and security of the technology. Without these features and benefits of the technology will not be very useful and can also be misused.

It is predicted that 20 billion IoT devices will get connected to the internet by 2020.  The speed at which the IoT industry is gaining popularity the need of securing IoT devices and ensuring end-to-end security in an IoT environment is becoming crucial.

For any new technology, it is a challenging task to provide security and it becomes more intricate when there is no limit on the way that it can go. If we go a couple of decades back, we were worried about securing our servers and computers. In the last decade, there was the age of smartphones and tablets where everyone trying to make their mobile applications secure to protect their privacy. Now in 2019, as more and more devices are connected to the internet there is a requirement to provide security to the devices, like a car, home appliances, baby monitors, IP cameras and other IoT devices as well. Few examples of security breaches are MIRAI Botnet attack, The Jeep Hack, Sr. Jude’s hackable device, etc. shook the world.

So here we are going to discuss various security challenges in modern IoT systems.

Low Cost and Weak Security

As we discussed, IoT devices are building their network rapidly and the market for IoT device manufacturers is also rising. It is a promising task for the manufacturer to build the devices at a low cost for market competition. Hence many times the manufacturers are unable to incorporate necessary security in the device. The weak economy promotes low security of the device leading to security breaches and privacy risk for the users.

Complex IoT System

When we talk about IoT devices, they include Hardware (chipsets, storage, ports like-UART, SPI, I2C, etc.), firmware, networking protocols like Wi-fi, BLE, MQTT, Zigbee, LORA, etc., and applications such as the mobile applications, cloud platforms, and the web portals. This makes the individual device and their network very complex to dig into every security aspect related to the devices and communications. As a security aspect, unfortunately, we fail to secure every part of these complex system.

Unmaintained Security Support

As a number of devices are coming into the market, IoT device vendors must provide complete security support to their customers. It should be a vendors responsibility to provide periodic support for regular firmware and hardware updates, patches or upgrades, etc . to improve the security further.

Unfortunately, most of the vendors are failing to maintain the necessary security support.

Weak Consumer Knowledge

Many time consumers who buy IoT devices are unaware of the security issues regarding the product. The common consumer is only aware of basic functionality like how to use the device for a specific purpose, for e.g. the mother uses the baby monitor device to look at her baby or baby’s activities via mobile application, in this case, mother will completely be unaware if anybody hacks and monitors her baby’s activities.

Users will not get informed even if their devices are compromised by some hackers because there is no security checking mechanism for users to check their privacy is being compromised. It is difficult for normal users to detect and resolve security incidents.     


Here we discussed the modern IoT security challenges. As experts predicted a large number of devices will get connected to the internet in upcoming years, It will be a promising task for manufacturers, vendors and security providers to tackle such type of security challenges at a huge scale.

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