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What Is IoT and IoT Penetration Tests?

what is IoT

Have you ever wonder what is IoT? If so, this article is for you.

IoT is the next-generation technology and experts believe that it will dominate the world soon. In the simplest definition, the Internet of Things (IoT), is a paradigm that allows devices with their own IP addresses and sensors can communicate with each other over a network and analyze the information they gather to make smart decisions simultaneously.

In the world of the Internet of Things, the role of human-to-human commands and even human-computer interaction minimized. Thanks to the IoT, the devices can communicate with each other and act proactively in making necessary warnings and decisions.

This technology will cover every kind of device from smartphones to coffee machines, wearables to lighting systems soon.

Today, most of the devices we use in our homes such as smart TVs, Apple Watch, Amazon Alexa, and many more considered as IoT devices already.

Its contribution to industrial areas is much more than we can imagine. For example, a robotic arm operating in production can detect a nail that is looser than the optimum level with its sensors. As they can get the job done, their reaction rates are much faster than humans.

Remote and real-time monitoring, high precision automation, and quick adaptation to environmental conditions are some of the most important features of the Internet of Things.

As a result, its security becomes highly important for both individuals and organisations.

What Are the Common IoT Usage Areas?

In general, the usage areas of IoT are divided into three groups as factories, city systems, and home systems. In this section, we are going to provide a detailed explanation of each group.

Smart Home Systems

Smart home systems are one of the most important usage areas of IoT. For example, a smart lighting system is equipped with a code of line that turns on the lights when someone enters the room.

If the person usually prefers to sit on the same sofa when he enters the room, the system will notice this and increase the intensity of the light only in that area and adjusts the light distribution in the rest of the room accordingly.

This command was not provided for the system, but the system learned it by itself with the information it gathers. The system constantly collects data and feeds itself.

Industry 4.0

The industrial Internet of Things is a natural extension of SCADA, which stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. Besides energy facilities such as electricity and natural gas, the SCADA system used in production facilities such as automotive and food.

Thanks to this technology, all production stages can be monitored and controlled from a single-center, data can be collected, and immediate intervention can be carried out.

When the SCADA system was introduced in the 1960s, its sole purpose was to manage daily operations and ensure a quick response when a problem arises. However, thanks to the Internet of Things technology, it is possible to detect and intervene before problems arise.

Moreover, this system eliminated the human factor and enabled machines to communicate with each other.

Smart Cities

The Internet of Things has plenty of uses for social order and city management. Some of these usage areas include traffic management, smart public transportation systems, fire alarm systems, and smart city lighting.

Another practice that will contribute to public safety is CCTV and VMS (video management software), which will transform into smarter systems with the help of the IoT. The size of the amount of data generated by this system and the need for storing this data is a great challenge.

However, with smart video analysis software, important events can be marked, and the rest of the data can be removed from the network to decrease the data size.

Many technologies currently available today will be more flexible and functional with the IoT. As a result, they will be less costly and more solution-oriented.

What Is IoT Architecture?

Although IoT technology is going to dominate the world, IoT devices have many security vulnerabilities due to their architecture. As a result, they became more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

In general, an IoT architecture consists of the following components:

Main Components – Smart devices equipped with sensors and actuators.

IoT Field Gateways – Boundary elements, which are the cloud part of an IoT solution and objects.

Cloud Gateways – Components, which facilitate data compression and transfers between cloud servers and gateways.

Streaming Data Processor – Element, which allows seamless transition of input data to control applications and data storage.

Data Storage
This element includes a data lake, which stores raw data as streams, and a large data warehouse, which stores filtered and structured data, context information about commands, sensors, and smart devices from control applications.

Data Analytics – Unit that processes information from a large data warehouse to extract meaningful insights and create data patterns.

Machine Learning – It regularly generates, and updates patterns and models based on historical data stored in a large data warehouse and control applications use it.

Control Applications – Components, which send automatic commands and alerts to actuators.

Client-Server System – It includes a mobile app or a web app (client) and a user business logic component (server).

A full-scale IoT Penetration Test should go beyond smart devices and cover all the above-mentioned IoT system components.

What Are the Security Vulnerabilities of IoT Devices?

IoT providers often face privacy issues, which they cannot foresee. Because of this IoT devices have been subject to increasing levels of cyber attacks in recent years due to their poor security checks. Some of the common problems that arise with the spread of IoT technology include;

IoT users contest the collection and storage of data without adequate knowledge. Data, which is collected and shared with third parties, will eventually create a detailed picture of their personal lives, and generate information that users would never share with a stranger they meet on the street.

Anonymity is a constant problem in the world of IoT and IoT platforms do not care about user anonymity in the data sharing process.

Cyber attacks are likely to become a physical threat. Many devices that are connected to the internet such as cameras, kitchenware, and televisions have already been able to spy on people in their own homes. These devices accumulate a large amount of personal data shared with other devices and held in databases by organisations. This practice is very prone to misuse.

Computer-controlled automobile equipment such as horns, control panels, engines, locks, and brakes are always at risk from cyber attackers, who can access the network in the vehicles.

The concept of layered security for managing IoT-related risks is still in their early stages. For instance, the data on smart health devices can be altered and when this device is connected to another device for analysis, the analysis of the altered data can adversely affect the patient’s diagnosis and treatment.

When a large number of IoT devices are connected to a particular website or database, it can lead to customer dissatisfaction, reduced venue, and efficiency.

What Does IoT Penetration Test Mean?

IoT Penetration Tests are a special consultancy services. These services performed for Information Technology assets to identify cyber security threats in advance. With this test, experts aim to reveal the vulnerabilities and gain unauthorized access to communications, connections, and applications of IT assets of an organisation.

IoT Penetrations tests performed within predetermined scenarios depending on the type of the asset. The scope of the penetration tests that will be carried out with these scenarios are determined with progression methods, infiltration techniques, security devices, and bypass techniques of the assets.

MS Cyber Security tests are performed with both national and international methodological approaches.

What Are IoT Penetration Tests?

IoT Penetration Tests are a kind of cyber security consultancy service. These tests performed by cyber security experts. Their goal is to reveal the errors and vulnerabilities in information systems. Thus, they can prevent malicious cyber attackers to exploit the security vulnerabilities. Therefore, they make systems more secure.

The main goal of these penetration tests is identifying the vulnerabilities and show how hackers obtain unauthorized access to the system by exploiting these vulnerabilities. These tests are also a great way to see the possible outcomes of a possible cyber attack organised on these systems.

IoT Penetration Tests carried out with national and international methodologies, are based on three methods.

What Are IoT Penetration Test Methods?

It is possible to group the methods used in IoT Penetration Tests under three headings. These are:

White Box
The security testing team has full knowledge of the system itself and the relevant technologies running with it. It is one of the most beneficial methods since it will be easier to find errors and vulnerabilities. This method also shortens the time for organisations to take action against these errors and vulnerabilities.

Grey Box
The security testing team has information about the system. Information such as the version of the server and IP address list is provided to the testing team in advance. Since the IP addresses for which control and testing are requested are already known, the possibility of unintentional damage to the system is also reduced.

Black Box
The organisation will not provide any information to the security testing team about the systems. Thus, the team will collect data and perform tests on a completely unknown system.

What Is IoT Penetration Testing Methodology?

MS Cyber Security carried out periodical IoT penetration tests to identify the security vulnerabilities on critical systems. Moreover, IoT penetration tests aim to take precautions before cyber attackers exploit these vulnerabilities.

Both external and internal penetration tests carried out to reveal the current security structure of IT infrastructure within the organisation and possible vulnerabilities in this structure.

What Are IoT Penetration Test Stages?

Below, you can find detailed information about the stages we follow in our IoT penetration tests.

Vulnerability Leveling

As a result of IoT penetration tests, experts identify the vulnerabilities and rank them according to their potential threat levels to the organisation and its systems.

Information Gathering

The information gathering stage is the stage that collects all possible information about the target system to carry out a comprehensive IoT penetration test.

Passive Information Gathering

In this stage, experts gather information about target systems through search engines without directly communicating with target systems.

Active Information Gathering

In this stage, experts gather information about the target systems with direct communication.

Port Scanning

When experts gather all the possible information about the target, they will implement a more technical approach to analyze the target network and its resources.

Vulnerability Scanning

Experts perform vulnerability scanning after the information gathering, port scanning, and service identification, by taking the advantage of gathered data.


After identifying the open ports, information gathered about which services use these ports, which provider owns these services, and their versions.

Exploitation Stage

After the vulnerability scanning and enumeration stages, the experts try to exploit the identified vulnerabilities. Later on they make attempts on the target system and its security.

Authorisation Stage

Gaining access is the focus of an IoT penetration test. Thus, experts try to gain access to the target system by exploiting the identified vulnerabilities.

Post-Exploitation Stage

In this stage, experts evaluate the value of the accessed system. After that they maintain the control of the system for later use.

Roll-Back Stage

Experts roll back all the operations on the system before finalizing the penetration tests. This stage is one of the stages that require utmost care.

Reporting Stage

If requested in writing, we can deliver the printed version of the report in a sealed envelope.


We are going to present a summary of the IoT penetration test to the officials of the organisation. Thus, organisation employees and officials have the opportunity to exchange opinions about the tests carried out by our cyber security experts.

If you would like to test your IoT systems and improve their security levels, you can contact MS Cyber Security at any time and receive a free quote.

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