How to Improve IoT Security in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Pillars of IoT security in the AI world are automated data protection, zero-day threats prevention, and keeping tabs on all hackable software in real-time....
How to Improve IoT Security in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Written by Staff
  • Securing the Internet of Things (IoT) is notoriously challenging.

    Many consumer IoTs are created with poor security practices. Or released many years ago. In the meantime, manufacturers have stopped providing upgrades that would otherwise continually strengthen their security.

    Also, IoT devices lack universal standard protocols that all of the components need to meet to decrease the risk of cyber threats.

    Yet, there are around 15.14 billion connected IoT devices to worry about. These small components are integral parts of any smart technology we use at homes or offices.

    From smart fridges, printers, coffee machines, cameras, phones, and toothbrushes to entire homes, hackers have plenty of opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities lurking behind poorly protected IoT devices.

    The question becomes, “How can we guard a growing number of IoT devices in a world that is currently shaped by artificial intelligence?”

    One solution is to use AI to facilitate IoT security.

    Protecting Private Data

    Weaknesses within unsecured IoT devices can grant illicit access to a company’s network. If a hacker uncovers them before the security team does, they can exploit them to enter the network. From there, using a privileged account, they can access personal user data.

    That is, an unsecured camera or phone can grant them initial access and open doors for deeper movement within the network.

    Once threat actors steal the information, they can use it to demand ransom, make changes within the infrastructure, or cease all operations within the company.

    Organizations rely on plenty of IoT devices. They use them to either streamline operations within the network or to form a birdseye view of the network.

    As a result, businesses have linked a large number of IoT components that, when unprotected or have a vulnerability, can lead a malicious actor straight to the user and corporate data.

    How Can AI Secure Sensitive Information?

    AI-powered solutions can automate security by continually uncovering sensitive data within the system. In addition to mapping the most valuable documents, they can also govern access.

    To protect sensitive files, companies need to take care of any potential security gaps — such as uncovering IoTs that follow non-existent or lax security practices or have vulnerabilities.

    Another component of IoT protection is the prevention of illicit access.

    One way to increase IoT security is to automate the zero-trust principle. Hackers will try to exploit unsecured IoT components to gain initial access.

    Within the network applies a strict “trust but verify” policy, IoT security solution double checks if a person is a genuine user, regardless if they do have the right credentials.

    Blocking Zero-Day Attacks

    Zero-day threats are one of the major challenges for security in 2023. Those are evolved threats for which businesses have zero days to mitigate. It’s difficult to uncover something that you can’t expect.

    Paired with the IoTs that are known for their lack of security, threats that exploit zero-day weaknesses pose a high risk for businesses.

    Security tools that most businesses have can’t identify and stop such threats because their solutions cannot recognize them. As a result, zero-day threats can bypass most old security solutions.

    How Does AI Deter Zero-Day Threats?

    Security solutions that leverage AI can detect the signs of zero-day threats by tracking anomalies — any activity that is out of the ordinary.

    The tool continuously analyzes the devices that rely on IoT. It automatically blocks possible threats.

    For instance, an AI-based solution analyzes hundreds of IPA signatures in its database to detect malicious activity.

    Once it discovers patterns that don’t match the usual activity, the tool instantly blocks the possibly malicious activity. If the anomaly points to a more advanced threat, it alerts security teams to investigate the issue at hand.

    Covering the Entire Attack Surface

    An attack surface includes any software that can be targeted by hackers. It must be completely secured — IoT devices included. When overlooked within the ever-growing attack surface of the company, IoTs pose a threat.

    Even the printer, smart lighting, or coffee machines with a gap in security are ticking time bombs — waiting to be exploited by hackers.

    As companies add more and more devices and the number of cyber threats rises, the attack surface of the company grows as well. 

    So how can we retain the visibility of all activity and safeguard hackable devices within the architecture?

    Does AI Increase Visibility?

    AI can uncover all IoT devices that connect to the internet and that are used by an organization. Also, it can detect threats or weaknesses that potentially endanger the company because of these linked components in real-time.

    Some of the major security issues that AI can track and stop include:

    • Ransomware
    • Malicious traffic
    • Attempts at unauthorized access

    The longer security teams wait to uncover the hackers within an infrastructure, the greater the cost of the cyberattack.

    To prevent incidents within the complex modern architectures, AI maps all devices, activity, and vulnerabilities. The data help security analysts to plan for patching vulnerabilities continuously or to restrict access for unauthorized users.

    Reducing Hacking Risk Posed By IoT Components

    While artificial intelligence is nothing new, people are becoming more aware of how it shapes every part of our daily lives. AI is no longer a device feature they overlook. Instead, now more than ever, it’s something they actively use in their everyday lives.

    One industry where AI has been applied for years is cybersecurity. 


    Because a single weakness posed by an IoT device can put an entire enterprise at risk of 


    IoT security paired with the capabilities of AI leads to the rapid discovery of attempts at unauthorized access within a network or threat actors trying to exploit weaknesses.

    As a result of proper IoT protection, the company’s network and the data they store are safe. 

    This is true even in the era when the attack surface keeps rapidly growing because of an increasing number of IoT devices and cyber threats that leverage lax IoT security practices.

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