Organizations are adopting new technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), at a rapid pace to improve supply chain management and logistics. In fact, the aggregate number of IoT devices deployed globally was 7.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach 25.4 billion by 2030. As a result, improvements in real-time tracking, automation, forecasting, and inventory controls are some of the benefits that IoT brings to supply chain management. While IoT sensors can automatically track and analyze inventory and stock levels, organizations rely on the data being collected in these devices to make quantitative operational decisions. Threat actors, on the other hand, see these devices as a soft entryway into larger organizations, and they can use their skills to manipulate the data that organizations are tracking as a diversion tactic to a much larger attack on the horizon. 

IoT Vulnerabilities Are Attractive Targets

Threat actors are constantly improving their attack methods by exploiting new vulnerabilities found within these devices. According to a study, more than half of all IoT devices are vulnerable to high-severity attacks. Often organizations do not have sufficient insight into the cybersecurity posture of these devices or their manufacturers, meaning usage can inadvertently broaden the attack surface for their clients. 

IoT devices remain an unregulated technology with minimal security standards among device manufacturers. In a study, over 60% of cybersecurity professionals have experienced difficulty identifying and remediating vulnerabilities found in IoT devices, while another 61% of cybersecurity professionals within the industrial sector claimed they did not have visibility into the type of updates those within the supply chain may have been experiencing, rendering the use of IoT a risk to their cybersecurity posture. These vulnerable gaps make it easier for attackers to disrupt business functions within an organization. 

360-Degree Visibility Is Critical To Defend Against IoT Attacks

Businesses that utilize third parties to improve logistics, and other use cases, need to understand the risks associated with IoT devices. This will enable them to implement a cybersecurity strategy that provides them with 360-degree visibility into network, endpoint, logs, and cloud infrastructure to detect threats effectively. Ransomware attacks can provide adversaries with a large payout, but it is not the only prime objective threat actors are after. Attackers can use IoT botnets to launch a distributed denial-of-service attack to cripple the network or steal critical intellectual property. Proactive vulnerability management, third-party risk assessments, and 24/7 monitoring are essential to prevent, detect, and mitigate related attacks. 

Even though securing IoT devices may be a challenging task, having 360-degree visibility into the inventory of your IoT devices is an essential starting point. Once you have a comprehensive overview of your devices, discuss segmenting the devices from the rest of your network with the IT manager to reduce the risk of accessing sensitive business information. 

IoT devices are considered an endpoint asset that lives on the edge of your network, and it is critical to deploy 24/7 monitoring to detect and remediate threats in real-time. The risk of unsecured devices in the wild is greater than the cost of implementing security. An essential and cost-effective approach to ensuring your infrastructure is constantly monitored is integrating a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service. To learn more about IoT, check out our latest webinar, Foundational Security for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Monique Becenti

Product Marketing Manager | Pondurance

Monique is a Product Marketing Manager and has worked in cyber security roles for more than 5 years. Prior to joining Pondurance, Monique worked with Truyo powered by Intel®, specializing in data privacy rights automation and consent management and was a product and channel marketing specialist at SiteLock. Monique has a passion for cyber security and leveraging her knowledge to create better experiences for consumers and businesses throughout their customer journey. Outside of cyber security, Monique loves photography and taking pictures of the beautiful Arizona sunsets and landscape.

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