WiFi and IoT Vulnerability

Your network is susceptible to security issues, the treat gets compounded if you are using a wifi interface for your IoT devices. The world has just woken up to a wifi encryption vulnerability generally called KRACK. This leaves the majority of wifi devices and networks vulnerable to eavesdropping, traffic manipulation, and packet injection by attackers. This is caused due to a flaw in the four-way handshake used in wifi’s WPA2 security.  The flaw allows devices to be exploited by an attacker, causing them to reuse nonces and, as a result, undermine the encryption and privacy altogether. This is a large problem, it affects your home network, your phone and computers, and many IoT application in both home and industrial settings.

The impact includes:

  1. Compromised privacy even interception of sensitive information.
  2. Compromising security by attacking and breaking into devices on affected networks
  3. Impersonation and unauthorized access to industrial/other control systems
  4. Compromising connected access control and security systems
  5. Thwarting IP-based access control, as used in firewalling
  6. Infiltrating site-to-site VPNs
  7. DNS spoofing, and related potential compromise of TLS/HTTPS encryption where proper validation is not in use

According to IT professional (as per a poll that was done by Spiceworks), IoT devices are most vulnerable to wifi attacks. The survey highlights that workplace IoT devices such as smart lights and thermostats are ‘extremely vulnerable’ to Wi-Fi-based attacks, with IP-enabled appliances (49%), video equipment (42%) and electronic peripherals (40%) just as exposed. The results published say “While adoption of IoT devices is increasing in the workplace, many IT professionals are still wary of connecting these mostly un-patchable devices to corporate Wi-Fi networks”.

Risks surrounding public Wi-Fi use were of clear concern too, with 92% of IT pros worried about company-owned devices connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. Due to this risk, many organizations are not moving fast towards deploying new IoT applications. They are holding plans and are hoping that the forthcoming WPA3 protocol might improve Wi-Fi security. 

So what best can you do to protect your data? The expert advice is as follows: “First and foremost should be the use of VPN’s; any traffic sent from your business device through a public Wi-Fi should be encrypted using a VPN. Try, where possible, to use SSL connections on websites that allow it, and ensure you have a good regularly updating internet security package installed on all devices. It won’t protect you 100%, but it will do most of the work for you in the daily defense”.

The identified issues have resulted in many vendors trying to create smart and safe new products. The new version of WiFi interface is much safer. One such new device providing safe and smart WiFi for users is Smart Safe Wifi and we find it to be a reliable new option.

Tags: IoT   WiFi Vulnerability   WPA2  

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