IoT Security Testing – OWASP Top 10

IoT Security Testing – OWASP Top 10

1. Weak, Guessable, or Hard-Coded Passwords

Weak, guessable, or hard-coded passwords in IoT devices are a severe problem that can be used to gain unauthorized access to systems. This can allow attackers to do anything from stealing data to control systems.

2. Insecure Network Services

Insecure network services are the network services running on the device itself. These are accessible from the Internet and are exposed to the Internet by default. It may be insecure in the sense that it is not configured with the security best practice. For example, it may be exposing some form of critical information to the public network.

3. Insecure Ecosystem Interfaces

In the software industry, when the term ecosystem is used, it refers to all third party software, hardware, networks, cloud-based services, and interfaces around a software product. This means that any element that is part of the ecosystem can be a source of risk for the product and the company, which is a part of this ecosystem.

4. Lack of Secure Update Mechanism

The key to securing IoT devices is in the maintenance of the software. The software is at the heart of the IoT device. We have seen IoT devices being compromised by using insecure code libraries, 3rd party SDKs, bad code design and more. Even if the device is physically secured, if the software is compromised, there is nothing to stop an attacker from taking over the device, collecting data and exfiltrating it.

5. Use of Insecure or Outdated Components

An insecure or outdated component in an IoT device can create many issues. It can be leveraged to access the network or the device, allowing attackers to control it remotely. It can be used to steal data and access the internal network. It could be used to create a botnet, launch DDoS attacks or spread new malware and whatnot.

6. Insufficient Privacy Protection

IoT devices have the ability to collect a lot more data than your smartphone. The difference is that smartphones have more security and privacy controls than most IoT devices. IoT devices are usually used to monitor and control devices at home. If security is compromised in an IoT device, a hacker could gain access to your home. This is especially scary when considering that many IoT devices monitor security systems and control door locks.

7. Insecure Data Transfer and Storage

As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands and more devices and sensors are being connected to the Internet for gathering and exchanging data, the related security risks and challenges also increase.

8. Lack of Device Management

One of the issues that IoT developers face is that they are not fully prepared with IoT device management tools and asset management which leads to improper management of IoT devices.

9. Insecure Default Settings

Some Internet of Things (IoT) devices are shipped with insecure default settings or lack the ability to make the system more secure by restricting operators from modifying configurations. This has made it easy for hackers to access the devices and collect data from them. 

10. Lack of Physical Hardening

There are several ways to harden a device physically, but if you aren’t careful, it can significantly decrease the device’s usefulness. 

For example, many IoT devices are made to assume that they’ll be placed in a public environment, like a shop or restaurant or a place where they won’t need a lot of security, like a home. This means that devices are often designed to be as simple as possible and don’t need a lot of physical security. 

Types of IoT Security Testing

The Internet of things are all around us, and now and then, we hear stories of them being exploited. IoT security testing is a significant part of developing IoT applications. Below are some of the most common types of IoT security testing:

1. IoT penetration testing

IoT penetration testing is a type of IoT security testing methodology in which security professionals find and exploit security vulnerabilities in IoT devices. IoT penetration testing is used to check the security of your IoT devices in the real world. When we talk about IoT penetration testing, we are referring to testing not only the device or the software but also the entire IoT system.

2. Threat modelling

Threat modelling for IoT devices is a process for determining what threat model is for their IoT device and how it may be breached. For example, a camera may be used to spy on people within a certain distance. It may be used to monitor the inside of someone’s home. The camera may be breached physically by a third party, or a hacker may get into the camera’s system and view the images it is recording. 

3. Firmware Analysis

One of the most important things to understand is that firmware is software, just like a computer program or application. The only difference is that firmware is used on embedded devices, small computers with a dedicated function. For example, a smartphone, router, or even a heart monitor. Firmware analysis includes extracting and testing it for backdoors, buffer overflows and other security issues.

Best Practices for keeping your IoT devices secure

Security is a vital aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT), and a lot of research has gone into finding secure designs and techniques that IoT devices can use. Keeping that, we have created a list of a few pointers to keep in mind to keep IoT devices secure and free from vulnerabilities.

1. Always change default credentials

2. Implement strong encryption for data transportation and storage

3. Implement secure booting

4. Regularly perform IoT security testing

5. Update, Track and manage your devices properly

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