The Internet of Things is predicted to expand at a breakneck pace, reaching more than 20 billion devices by 2020. Developing a promising paradigm for an IoT security evaluation can mean the difference between commercial success and a highly publicized failure.

FREMONT, CA: Network-connected Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets are gaining popularity in households and companies, ranging from smart cities and buildings to automobiles and medical equipment. Attempts to subvert or undermine essential functions within enterprises are increasing and making headlines owing to unsecured IoT devices and applications. While the Internet of Things did not add new technologies, it did complicate the environment for developers and security teams. Understanding the complexity of the environment, conducting enough research on components, and developing a comprehensive evaluation plan are critical to protecting the IoT. Numerous obstacles can obstruct progress:

Rapid development and distribution of gadgets and their associated online and mobile applications result in much exploitable vulnerability.

These similar mobile and web application interfaces are frequently designed and developed without understanding security recommended coding standards.

The time and work required to establish and operate an end-to-end security testing team within a company is frequently prohibitively expensive.

Organizations struggle to recruit, retain, and develop security personnel with device and application penetration testing expertise. 

Vulnerabilities in IoT security assessments are fundamentally more complex than vulnerabilities in simple web or mobile applications. This results in an increased attack surface and a broader range of attack vectors.

A practical IoT security assessment involves a complete mapping of the electronic ecosystem surrounding a given IoT device before developing a detailed evaluation plan.

Mapping takes place on a broad level and subsequently on a micro-level. From a macro perspective, the mapping must have sufficient breadth to incorporate all devices and components contributing to the ecosystem's functionality. This is critical-every device, every communication channel, and every software component.

At the micro-level, it is necessary to comprehend the depth of each component and its potential vulnerabilities-which hardware, which firmware, which communications, which software language, and which third-party add-ons? This takes extensive investigation to ascertain the limitations of individual components and the vulnerabilities inherent in their interrelation.

At this phase, the tester has accomplished the bulk of the work: they are familiar with the IoT device and the environment it operates and has established a complete evaluation strategy that includes the necessary instruments. With this detailed map in hand, the assessor may create an assessment plan and select appropriate tools from their hacking toolbox. Now comes the exciting part-carrying out an assessment strategy and hacking that device.