In the current world, the Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becoming more popular. If you are new to this term, these are just devices that come with unique identifiers (UID), and they can transfer data automatically over a network. They include such devices like smart TVs, smart appliances, wearables, toys, smart speakers, CCTVs, baby monitors, and more.
With the increase in cyber security concerns, IoT devices users are encouraged to use VPNs. But are they worth using on your IoT device? We shall be discussing that in this article. You should also know how VPN works on devices. Luckily, here is a VPN explanation article to help you understand it more.
Now, let’s explore why you should secure your IoT devices with a VPN.
A Brief Intro
You see, once you connect your device to the internet, it is automatically opened to a possible hack. It is like driving in the snow, then you roll down the window. When you do this, the snow will start to enter the car, including the wind, or anything else can be blown into the car.
Once the wrong guys have access to your device via the internet, they can easily land on your personal information. For that reason, Internet of Things devices are the most vulnerable electronic devices in today’s world. But with the Virtual Private Network, you can be sure of a secure ‘blanket’ that covers your device from the bad guys.
Common Attacks of IoT Devices
One painful fact that you should know is that the IoT devices are attacked in many ways. Some attacks will work almost like a virus, while others are just meant to spy the user’s activities. Even if someone is just snooping your activity doesn’t mean they can do it as they want. That said, here are the common attacks of the Internet of Things devices.
The first, and most common, attack of the IoT devices are the botnets. A botnet is simply a series of internet-connected devices that can deliver a large-scale attack. They are usually combined with a hacker to attack multiple devices all at once. One of the attacks that botnets do is to deliver a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack at a large scale.
For instance, they can limit you from opening a specific application or website from your internet-connected device. This will be common in all the devices that are linked.
Sadly, botnet malware can just sit there dormant in your device, until the attacker/hacker controls it. Here, the attacker will send a command over the internet, which will then wake up the botnet and it will start running in your system. Also, IoT devices don’t come with an antivirus protection layer. That is why it becomes challenging to detect and eliminate the botnet.
Another thing that makes IoT more vulnerable is the fact that they are designed to be simple, compared to the complex PCs and Smartphones. For that, they may not have a sophisticated security architecture to keep it secured.
This is another common attack on IoT devices. The hacker might only want to snoop and see what you are doing. You can find a hacker having their way into a home’s CCTV and watching the personal life of the dwellers. Most of the snooping are done on women and young ladies. However, some might want to know how you live in your house so that they can come and find their way in when you are not around.
Other than that, you should know that whenever the device is connected to the internet, government agencies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that control them will have access to all the data that is transferred to and from the device. Your data is and should be private. But when any person knows your IP address, they can track each of your daily activity on the internet.
3. Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) Attacks
Just as the name suggests, the MITM attack is when there is an illegal third party between you and the ISP/the Internet. The unauthorized third party will intercept the communication and information transferred. It is like a nylon paper that is clogged in a drainage pipe. All the content is eliminated from the house, but it doesn’t reach the sewer system.
The MITM attack allows the illegal middlemen to view and alter sensitive information. They can even hijack the user account because they can easily have access to the password and other personal information.
If you have an IoT device that is not properly secured by the manufacturer, you will be more vulnerable to a MITM attack.
As a result, the IoT device users will need to secure their devices by encrypting the system and preventing a possible attack/hack.
Going the Right Way: Securing Your Device With a VPN
Since the regular antivirus cannot be used on IoT devices, you should opt for a VPN.
A VPN will help to lessen the multiple attacks related to IoT devices. With the VPN, the traffic will flow from the device, through a ‘unique’ server, and then to the internet. This process helps to protect the user’s id and online activities.
The best part is that all the information that passes through the VPN will automatically be encrypted. Most VPN providers will use the 256-bit AES encryption, which is commonly known as the military-grade encryption.
It helps a lot to connect your IoT device to a VPN. Since all the traffic will be automatically encrypted once you connect your device to the VPN, hackers would not be able to interpret the traffic. Even if they manage to have authorized access.
While the VPN might not exactly bar the hackers and unauthorized persons, it will shield your IP address. This way, the hackers will not be able to launch an attack on your device. Furthermore, some VPN providers will offer dedicated anti-DDoS server that will protect any possible DDoS attack to your device. A shielded IP address will prevent intruders from attacking your system or tracking your online activity.
So yes, you need to connect your IoT device to a reliable VPN. Always ensure that you find the right VPN for your IoT device.