Penetration testing acts as an enabler to create more robust forms of information technologies, and IoT is one of them. IoT, aka the Internet of Things, has indeed mutated the present human lifestyle. The applications of this innovation have penetrated diverse walks of our life, making us more competent and more efficient. However, its pervasiveness also gives rise to numerous security concerns. It’s here that IoT pentesting helps numerous entities improvise their IoT-based operations by augmenting their defenses.
The world of IoT-based devices is more populated than the human race itself. From efficient home security and smart kitchen appliances to high end medical care tools and manufacturing machines, we are surrounded by the babies of IoT technology.
By the end of 2022, IoT Analytics predicts that the number of IoT devices shall grow by 18 percent to over 14 billion active connections. This extensiveness of IoT technology has compelled business organizations to monitor and upgrade their cybersecurity preparedness constantly. Almost all forms of industries, like manufacturing, home automation, healthcare, retail, logistics, and hospitality, rely on IoT. Furthermore, users input a lot of sensitive information into these IoT-based devices and gadgets. Hence, it is critical for all types of entities employing IoT-based systems and tools to secure their data from adversaries on the lookout. No wonder the IoT security market is estimated to reach $18.6 billion by 2022, as per Statista.
What do you mean by IoT pentesting?
IoT penetration testing represents a process of evaluating the different system components of an IoT-based device by exploiting the present vulnerabilities. This evaluation helps find misconfigurations and remediate them to make the IoT security framework more secure.
Business entities that apparently just utilize IoT-based equipment need to realize that they act as a conducive ground for many threat actors to wreak havoc on your security. Since IoT devices are connected via the internet, vigilance and precaution are necessary. One needs to assess the security shield of IoT devices before putting them in for actual use.
Organizations involved in the manufacture of IoT devices and tools for various purposes need to maintain their security agility to the highest level possible. They cannot support their customer confidence and growth without ensuring that their IoT devices offer the required data protection. With IoT pentesting, entities can scrutinize the physical security, application-level safety, default installation configuration, and the overall cybersecurity lifecycle of their device.
What are some of the significant forms of IoT security testing?
Penetration testers usually cover multiple aspects of the IoT framework to ensure complete security readiness. The popular forms of IoT security testing are:
- IoT device security testing
- IoT network security testing
- IoT cloud API security testing
- IoT device application security testing
- IoT device firmware security testing
Why should you consider penetration testing for IoT security?
Business entities relying on IoT technology for its multiple applications should elect to conduct penetration testing. The most promising merits of IoT pentesting are as follows:
- Helps in preventing major security mishaps
IoT devices act as hotbeds for malign hackers to embezzle critical business information and affect essential operations. Thus, cybersecurity experts essentially suggest adopting IoT penetration testing as it helps in avoiding destructive security breaches.
- Supports in boosting customer confidence
Customers are pretty apprehensive regarding the level of data security that IoT applications and devices can offer. Proactive steps like penetration testing can support a holistic cybersecurity ecosystem. It will allow all types of business entities, both IoT device manufacturers and users, to maintain client trust and confidence.
- Enables promoting business growth
IoT technology has become an integral aspect of almost all types of industries. If an organization strengthens its IoT security posture with pentesting, it can enhance the scope of higher growth. The increased trustability of IoT with better data security mechanisms can enable businesses to operate more effectively, contributing to its long-term success.
- Simplifies maintaining regulatory compliance
Entities fear non-compliance instances that can lead to penalties and loss of reputation. IoT penetration testing can allow business entities worldwide to cater to local and international regulations more seamlessly.
- Backs in avoiding operational hindrances
No business entity wants any obstacles in the regular functioning of its operations. Since numerous entities employ IoT devices, security attacks on these can lead to undesirable breaks in the processes. IoT penetration testing can help avoid such incidents to increase your business productivity.
What security aspects can you avoid to strengthen your IoT defense, as per OWASP?
Various IoT device developers and customers rely on the OWASP Internet of Things project’s Top 10 security list to comprehend pressing issues related to IoT security. It supports entities in the endeavor of assessing IoT technologies adequately and enabling more resilient security structures.
As per the latest available list, the OWASP top 10 IoT security concerns include the following:
- Use of easily guessable, weak, or hard coded passwords
- Lack of secure network services
- Inadequate security for ecosystem interfaces
- Deficiency of secure IoT device update mechanism
- Presence of outdated components
- Lack of suitable privacy protection measures
- Insecure data storage and transfer
- Absence of device management policies
- Security issues in default settings
- Improper physical handling
What approach do pentesters widely adopt for conducting IoT penetration tests?
The IoT pentesting methodology encompasses the following phases
Phase-1 Defining the scope
The pentesting team first determines the scope of the test arrangement as per the client’s need. It ultimately depicts the cost, efforts, goals, and technical procedures involved with the IoT penetration test.
Phase- 2 Attack surface mapping
This phase of attack surface mapping involves defining the entry and exit zones that adversaries can misuse. The pentesting team develops a map as per their understanding of the IoT device solution and its security architecture. Usually, the IoT device architecture covers three categories:
- Firmware, software, and applications
- Embedded device
- Radio communications
Phase-3 Vulnerability assessment and exploitation
Once the testers have their detailed security architecture diagram, they evaluate the vulnerabilities of different IoT device components. Each of the IoT architecture categories of embedded device, radio communications, and software applications have its own forms of vulnerabilities. After the testing team has identified the exposures, they utilize the tactics and tools akin to actual adversaries to sabotage IoT security. IoT devices consist of various interfaces. Hence, command injection, code injection, and input validation are usually some of the focal points of the attack. Testers also conduct post-exploitation measures to leave no stones unturned in finding the misconfigurations in the IoT device solution.
Phase-4 Documentation and reporting
At this final stage, the pentesting experts list out all discovered vulnerabilities and share them with the client’s management. They communicate at length all possible remediation measures in the report to upgrade the IoT security posture.
What is SCADA, and how might it be relevant to sustaining your entity’s cybersecurity posture?
SCADA or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system denotes a real-time device monitoring and controlling framework. The access to quick and resourceful data with SCADA allows all types of organizations globally to initiate data-driven measures for process improvisation. SCADA has been in existence much before the dawn of IoT, and it has benefitted numerous industries, including manufacturing, waste treatment, and telecommunication. While SCADA systems focus on regulating and monitoring different machinery, IoT emphasizes machine data analysis to improve productivity and business profitability. SCADA usually functions as MOM (Message-oriented middleware) or IoT gateways that help businesses connect various devices across many websites to fetch data on a single platform.
Despite the emergence of IoT, many business organizations continue to use SCADA software systems or a combination of both IoT and SCADA. Thus, it is essential to conduct comprehensive penetration testing for such entities to secure their IoT solutions and SCADA systems. Many highly recommend implementing extensive security best practices under the guidance of penetration testing professionals for SCADA software and IoT architecture.
Choose the leading-edge expertise of NaviSec for your IoT penetration testing dependencies!
NaviSec brings super-specialized IoT penetration testing services that we tailor to secure all your connected devices. Our pentesting team abides by esteemed reporting standards and testing methodologies to ensure a robust IoT architecture shield. We believe in assessing with a fine-tooth comb to unveil all possible misconfigurations. Diverse industries over the past years have already witnessed a cybersecurity transformation with our assistance. Let us help you power up your data protection posture. Contact us to learn more about our top-class penetration testing offerings!