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Value of RF Testing and Security Measures Evident as More IoT Devices Face Cyberattacks

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

According to a survey conducted by Irdeto Global Connected Industries, 80 percent of organizations’ IoT devices have experienced a cyberattack within the last 12 months. The survey polled 700 security decision makers from Connected Health, Manufacturing, and Transport industries who manufacture IoT devices in five countries: China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Ninety percent of those who experienced a cyberattack on their IoT devices also experienced an impact, such as operational downtime, comprised customer data, end-user safety, reputational damage, loss of customers, and stolen intellectual property. Furthermore, the survey found that only 17 percent of IoT devices used or manufactured by large enterprises did not suffer a cyberattack within the last year.

The industry that faced the most susceptibility to IoT-focused cyberattacks was Healthcare. Ninety-eight percent of this sector also stated that their IoT devices have room for improvement.

Now, as emerging smart cities begin implementing IoT networks, researchers worry about the stability of digital security. According to ABI Research officials, over half of the $135 billion budget for the protection of critical infrastructure from cyberattacks in 2024 will be spent on financial, IT, and defense sectors. The rest will be delegated to energy, healthcare, public security, transportation, and water and waste sectors, leaving them underfunded and vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Threats to these networks include hacking communication devices, holding systems for ransom, manipulating data, and stealing valuable information.

“Lack of cryptographic measures, poor encryption key management, [...] poor understanding of social engineering, and lack of protection versus Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are just some of the key issues contributing to the amplification of cyber-threats in smart city ecosystems," states Dimitrios Pavlakis, industry analyst at ABI Research. "This is further exacerbated by the lack of digital security investments and will, unfortunately, jeopardize the key elements of intelligence, efficiency, and sustainability of future smart city deployments.”

Devices such as baby monitors, thermostats, wearable medical devices, televisions, and even automated cars are susceptible to cyberattacks.

IoT devices, while tremendously convenient, pose enormous risks. Manufacturers do not invest enough time and money in the digital security of these devices. According to Irdeto’s survey, only 58 percent of companies make security part of the product design lifecycle. And while most organizations around the globe do have some security measures in place, they are not continuously checking and protecting the evolving vulnerabilities IoT devices face.

In fact, many engineers perceive RF testing of IoT devices as a formality. Due to a lack of knowledge on the subject, budget constraints, and deadlines, many manufacturers will settle for integrating pre-certified wireless modules that will allow them to meet approvals by a hair. Yet, this approach does not take into account the environment in which the devices will be used and the various problems that could arise if the RF environment changes.

In addition to these issues, establishing electromagnetic compatibility in IoT devices is also difficult, as wireless connectivity requires devices to contain multiple RF interfaces—but it isn’t impossible. Many IoT devices do not pass compliance testing the first time around—but pre-compliance testing will mitigate this issue by illuminating and fixing problems beforehand, thus saving your company thousands of dollars.

At Rhein Tech Laboratories, Inc., we provide EMC/EMI and RF testing to meet the approvals of the FCC, Industry Canada, the European Union Directives, and the medical and military fields. Ensure that your IoT devices are not only secure from cyberattacks, but also from electromagnetic interference by calling us today for a free quote. Sources:,,,

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