What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

A very ambiguous term, the Internet of Things refers to a physical object that is connected to the internet and capable of exchanging data with other devices and systems through wireless technology. These objects range from common household items to specific industrial tools and are built with sensors, software, and technology intended to connect and transfer data. In 2023, the number of connected devices in the world grew to 15.14 billion and an estimated 2 billion are expected to come online in 2024.

Security Challenges of IoT Devices

Personal devices, home devices, mass produced and utilized IOT devices are nearly everywhere. At the rate IoT devices are developed and launched, security protocols can often be overlooked.

Poor Developmental Security Testing

IoT developers focus on the technology to create a data connection between a device and a network. Since IoT devices typically take 18-24 months on average to go from design, development, and launch, security testing during the developmental phase isn’t always lengthy and thorough. Much like most evolving technology, IoT devices are continually being developed. Since these devices are expanding exponentially to become part of our personal and professional lives, attacks are growing more prominent. Integrating a security operation within the developmental phase will become an essential step for connected device production.

Regulatory Standards Are Expanding

As more IoT technology emerges and the number of network connectivity products continue to expand, so have developers’ regulations and security standards. Compliance is being enacted and implemented across the globe, as more of these devices are used in vehicle production, medical procedure and assistance, and connected devices within homes. Security regulations ensure device development and manufacturing do not overlook security loopholes that can threaten the general public or disrupt infrastructure entities. Products used by large portions of the population require stringent security testing for the public’s safety.

Vulnerable APIs, Inability to Patch, and Open-Source Bugs

Internet connected devices are susceptible to an attack from anywhere in the world. IoT devices are becoming a bigger target because they rely on some type of network connection through WIFI, mobile data, or Bluetooth. Criminals from around the world can use attack techniques include SQL injection, distributed denial of service (DDoS), and man-in-the-middle (MITM) cyberattacks that take advantage of the wireless connectivity from software to the device itself.

Many of these attacks occur because IoT devices are difficult to patch because of availability, device access, and installation errors. IoT developers rely on open-source coding, which has a high potential for bugs and undiscovered vulnerabilities, leaving devices susceptible. Finding these potential vulnerabilities prior to product deployment would help minimize successful attacks.

Proliferation of Devices

Worldwide IoT devices number in the billions. When developers deploy these devices, if security wasn’t a top priority, that manufacturer may have launched millions of devices with a fatal cybersecurity vulnerability. Once a device is launched and enabled in the public, recalling a device or adding a security fix could be nearly impossible. The downtime needed and the cost of remediating a security weakness can be astronomical. Adding a security vulnerability testing step within the developmental cycle can help prevent IoT security weak points and save time, money, and credibility in the long run.

Unknown Device Connections

There is no defense from an unknown or undetected device. This is the hardware aspect of “Shadow IT” by connecting a device without a security team’s knowledge. Deploying a wireless connected device onto a network without notifying the proper IT team can inadvertently let in cyberattackers. IT teams are unable to protect or monitor these devices because they do not have an accurate account of the network connections. Any compromised device that’s added to a network can leave an open door for criminals.

Industries with High-Risk IOT Security Threats

Larger scale attacks are becoming more and more prevalent, these key industries are becoming more frequent targets. Cybersecurity for these industries needs to be enacted throughout the development, deployment, and decommissioning lifecycle.

Automotive – Bluetooth and 5g cellphone connectivity built into new vehicles has become a popular feature. As these pairing options become a vehicle staple, cyberattacks are following. Additional emerging exploitable targets are application servers, remote keyless entry systems, automotive and smart mobility APIs, and EV charging infrastructure. Regulations are expanding based on these growing threat targets, requiring proper security testing during vehicle app development. Application security testing during the development phase can find known and unknown vulnerabilities and prevent the exploitation of a security flaws that could halt a fleet.

Industrial and Manufacturing – Automation and connectivity on the assembly line help keep production moving forward. An attack could compromise the flow of production and essentially create a supply chain bottleneck. Production disruption causes a ripple effect worldwide, where more essential products aren’t being built or shipped, making prices and demand astronomical.


Aviation – Growing automation abilities and continuous connectivity with the aviation industry create a large vulnerability range. Planes themselves can be a target, disrupting flights and possibly grounding planes, but another exploit risk is the personal information used to purchase tickets and travel location data. Compliance has been enacted worldwide to safeguard from these vulnerabilities by security testing and scanning during the development phase before a public launch.

Medical – The need for connective medical devices has skyrocketed. These wireless devices can be used in a medical facility to assist with procedures and monitoring and personal medical devices can provide feedback and data for patients. Pacemakers, insulin pumps, and other daily medical devices can have wireless connections to transfer health data. Security testing these devices and apps is essential to protecting the devices from being overridden as well as keeping personal patient data private.

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Infrastructure Control Systems – There are essential utilities that the public relies on, such as water, natural gas, electricity. These modern-day amenities are provided by much larger distribution stations, which also rely on wireless devices. Cyberattacks have already started targeting these systems, trying to deny services using vulnerabilities in their security to deploy ransomware. The strongest way to inhibit these attacks is to strengthen the app coding and conduct regular security testing and patching, closing known and unknown attack avenues.

The Importance of Black Box Fuzzing in Key Industries Guide

Get an in-depth look at which industries benefit the most from a black box fuzzer tool. Major industries that produce widespread apps and software that connect to the Internet of Things (IoT) smart devices are necessary for black box fuzzing development cybersecurity. 

IoT Device Security Methods

As more connectivity technology emerges, different security steps must be taken, but there are tried and true security solutions that can help secure all these areas:

During Development: SAST, DAST, Black Box Fuzzing – It is crucial to add SecOps into DevOps. Overlooking security while developing a product or application can prove to be costly, both to the public and the company itself. Static application security testing, dynamic application security testing, and black box fuzzing are all tools that can automate millions of guided and unguided tests, checking for code integrity, injection stability, and overall product security. This testing covers known and unknown vulnerabilities. The best part of these tests are they’re performed before product deployment, making remediation quicker and much less expensive.

Vulnerability Management: Conducting regular security scans and ongoing management is the strongest way to develop and deploy a wireless product. Vulnerability management can identify threats throughout a product’s lifecycle. A VM solution assesses your security ecosystem, accurately categorizing and prioritizing the highest threat vulnerabilities while delivering automated, intuitive reports on your remediation progression. Cybercriminals don’t stop developing new exploits, VM stays secure against emerging threats and new vulnerabilities.

Pen Testing: Pen testing services are necessary to see if found vulnerabilities can be used to access sensitive data. Finding weaknesses is only part of a strong security plan, but knowing if those security gaps can be breached and what data is exposed is just as crucial.

This includes Mobile Application Pen Testing (MAPT) services, which are performed within a mobile app. This allows cybersecurity professionals to test mobile apps and efficiently analyze if a potential vulnerability can be exploited and sensitive data can be compromised.

Red Teaming: Red teaming is the practice of using a combination of criminal attack techniques as well as advanced adversary simulation tools to quietly find ways to infiltrate your security measures. Once red teamers break in, they see what data assets they can steal. However, red teamers are on your side, they’ll compile a list of assets they were able to access, how they were able to bypass your security measures, and create a training to better equip your blue team security staff to better protect your organization’s sensitive data.

Industrial Internet of Things

The term Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) typically refers to use of IoT by machine-to-machine communications within industrial sectors and applications.  IIoT uses big data and machine learning to help industrial organizations create more efficient and reliable operations.  IIoT includes industrial applications, robotics, medical devices, software production processes, and anything more than typical, public consumer devices. 

Information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) utilize the IIoT networking of operational processes and industrial control systems (ICSs), human machine interfaces (HMIs), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, distributed control systems (DCSs), and programmable logic controllers (PLCs).  Combining IT and OT integrates a larger system of automation and logistical optimization.  All of this creates a streamlined industrial infrastructure for necessary industries in agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and public utilities.

Industrial Internet of Things

The biggest issue for IIoT is cybersecurity.  Industries, including the public sector, are still using legacy security systems, some operating for decades.  The adoption of new security technologies may require more time, effort, and money than the organization can afford. 

Security accountability is another issue for manufacturers.  Setup and connection falls on the user, however, protecting consumers after a product rolls out is the manufacturer’s obligation.  These devices need to be secure, with preventative security measures and remediation steps should a vulnerability be discovered.

This is where having a security plan that covers development, deployment, and post-launch monitoring and maintenance is in the best interest of the manufacturer as well as the consumer.  Use SecOps in DevOps checks for any potential vulnerabilities prior to consumers using these products.  Vulnerability management can monitor and identify vulnerabilities, prioritize them, and measure remediation efforts.  Additional proactive security options, like red teaming or even penetration testing, can highlight potential weaknesses so your security team can fix them before they are exploited.

Learn More About Fuzzing as a First IoT Step

See how utilizing a fuzzing tool during development is a key step in your industrial security process. Talk to one of our cybersecurity professionals to find out how to incorporate this crucial security solution.