The 10 Most Common IoT Security Threats to a Smart Ecosystem
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10 IoT Vulnerabilities that You Should be Aware of

IoT Vulnerabilities

10 IoT Vulnerabilities that You Should be Aware of

Most of us know that security is a major problem for IoT devices, so what exactly are we most worried about?

Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are everywhere around us, and without proper security in place, they will be vulnerable to sensitive data leakage. Everyone, from manufacturers to business users to customers, are worried about the risk of cyber criminals hacking into their IoT devices and systems. But what specifically are the most critical issues to consider when IoT devices are being designed, deployed, or running?

This is where OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) comes in. The list of top 10 IoT vulnerabilities in OWASP is intended to help business enterprises and customers know and understand the security vulnerabilities surrounding their IoT devices, and to allow users to make better security decisions when releasing or buying an IoT product.

According to OWASP, here are the top 10 IoT security vulnerabilities  that we are facing today:

1: Weak, guessable, or hardcoded passwords

A weak password is short, simple, a system default, or something that could be quickly guessed by performing a brute force attack using a list of possible passwords, such as words in the dictionary, familiar names … etc.

2: Insecure network services

Insecure services that are running on the device can be exposed to the internet allowing the attackers to compromise the IoT device.

3: Insecure ecosystem interfaces

This issue refers to APIs, mobile, and web apps that enable consumers to communicate with their smart devices. Any vulnerability within these interfaces will allow cybercriminals to compromise the device.  

4: Lack of secure update mechanisms

If there’s a device with an insecure update process, you run the risk of falling victim to what is known as the evilgrade attack. In this case, you may unwittingly install malicious code from an attacker during the update process. The update process must be done securely and certainly, over encrypted channels.

5: Use of insecure or outdated components

Using deprecated software or outdated components in your code could lead to a total compromise in the security of the device. This involves weak customization of operating system platforms and the use of third-party software or hardware elements from compromised suppliers.

6: Insufficient privacy protection

Personal data is very important. If abused, either purposely or by accident, it can have a significant impact on people’s lives. IoT devices can obtain a significant amount of data about the environment they are on, and the people using them.

7: Insecure data transfer and storage

Every time data is received by a smart device and transferred over a network, or collected in a new location, the potential for this data to be compromised increases. To mitigate these risks, you should restrict access to sensitive data in general and ensure that data is always encrypted.

8: Lack of device management

It is very important to know what assets are on your environment, and it’s equally important to manage them efficiently—you can’t secure something you don’t know you have. Failure at this point could result in your entire network being hacked.

9: Insecure default settings

IoT devices are often shipped with weak default settings. Often, we are just carless and fail to change those default settings. In other cases, it is not possible to change system configurations because you are restricted and do not have the necessary permissions to do it.

10: Lack of physical hardening

Hardening the device against physical attacks is a must. Failure at this point will enable potential attackers to obtain sensitive data that can help to launch a remote hack or gain local control of the device.


Taking these risks into active consideration can help mitigate your risk of being compromised by the ever-increasing growth in the number of active cyber criminals.