Penetration testing is essential to assess the overall strength of your business’s defense against cybercriminals targeting IoT devices.
IoT devices are ubiquitous in our daily lives, whether at home with smart home devices, or at work with factories, hospitals and even connected cars. According to Gartner, there were over 20 billion IoT devices in 2020. As businesses around the world over the past decade have transformed their processes with more integrated IoT-based intelligence, these billions of devices connected have also become a prime target for cybercriminals. Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Lab reported in 2020 that IoT devices are now responsible for 32.72% of all infections seen in mobile and Wi-Fi networks, up from 16.17% in 2019.
Main drivers of IoT attacks
With millions of endpoints exposed, cybercriminals not only exploit compromised devices to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, but they also pose a lasting threat to national security. So it’s no surprise that even the FBI has taken note and provided ongoing advice on how to implement secure IoT practices to defend against cybercriminals targeting insecure IoT devices. We have consistently noted that inadequate security capabilities, lack of real-time vulnerability patches, and lack of consumer awareness are the primary drivers of repeated attacks on IoT devices.
How Penetration Testing Can Help
The Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS) has recommended best practices for securing computer systems and data. For large organizations, it is essential to implement organizational CIS controls to focus on people and processes and drive change, executing an integrated plan to improve the organizational risk position. The CIS 20 control: penetration tests and red team exercises is a well-defined method for implementing organizational controls. These tests allow cybersecurity experts to detect vulnerabilities and assess the overall strength of an organization’s defense by simulating the actions of an attacker. Often, attackers target software deployment vulnerabilities, such as configurations, policy management, and gaps in the interactions between multiple threat detection tools to exploit security vulnerabilities.
First, IoT devices can have several types of interfaces: web interfaces for consumers or object interfaces for governance as code of applications such as control systems. Therefore, input validation, command injection, and code injection should be the primary focus of IoT device penetration testing.
Second, the network infrastructure interconnecting IoT objects can often be vulnerable, and for IoT devices on a single network, malicious attacks only need one exploit to be successful. It is important to use both automated tools and manual penetration testing methods to perform comprehensive specialist penetration testing on network infrastructure, associated cryptographic schemes and communication protocols.
Finally, it is essential to analyze the proprietary programs that represent the entire architecture of the system. Eighty-four percent of proprietary programs contain at least one open source vulnerability according to the Sixth Open Source Security and Risk Analysis (OSSRA) report produced by Synopsys. This represents immense heterogeneity and complexity in code bases. It is therefore important for experienced penetration testing professionals to use smart gray box testing to have excellent coverage on the types of tests required for a complete penetration test.
Building a stronger security defense posture
Creating a comprehensive security defense posture with code governance, policy management, and executive team members is critical to securing the entire Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). As software releases become more frequent and complex, penetration testing is an easy process for security professionals to periodically test their defenses, identify gaps and take corrective actions with development teams. of products. By performing sophisticated penetration testing that includes various attack vectors such as wireless, client-based and web application attacks, organizations can gain deeper insight into the business risks of these various vulnerabilities, enabling them to configure an appropriate defense posture suited to their needs. ecosystem.