3 Simple Steps to Boost IoT Security In Business

Posted By : Asha Devi | 13-Aug-2018

The Internet of Things [IoT] is becoming an integral element of the IT infrastructure and transforming the businesses to a greater extent.

 

Though we are witnessing and using this technology to its heights today, an alarming barrier to IoT device adoption is the security concern. In order to use the full potential of an IoT device, privacy concerns of the customers and users must be addressed in a more promising manner.

 

Let’s understand the basic security measures that have to be implemented for earning a continued trust with the customers and business continuity.

 

IoT Security in Business

 

The ‘Internet of Things’ has ingrained in our life activities in such a way that we are surrounded by them today.

 

The embedded sensors and the computing devices are enhancing the communication through effective connections. To mention a few, they are smart homes, smart energy grids, smart traffic, machinery, wearables, logistics, smart business, smart office, and, so forth.

 

Needless to say, the Internet of Things [IoT] or simply ‘Things’ is going to stay and grow continuously at an exponential rate.

 

This has parallelly led to the security-related issues as well. IoT security is the key concern for the industrial IoT users today. It is an issue in the boardrooms of any industry you name and a separate budget is getting allotted for security measures.  

 

Gartner studies say that “To protect against those threats, Gartner, Inc. forecasts that worldwide spend on IoT security will reach $1.5 billion in 2018, a 28 percent increase from 2017 spend of $1.2 billion”.

 

The IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 says that the vendors while selling IoT devices must ensure that they are free from vulnerabilities, and security patches are made available for every update, and so forth.

 

"Although IoT security is consistently referred to as a primary concern, most IoT security implementations have been planned, deployed and operated at the business-unit level, in cooperation with some IT departments to ensure the IT portions affected by the devices are sufficiently addressed," explains Mr.Contu.

 

If we consider the IoT security basics, the architecture of the IoT devices revolves around the device/hardware, device-initiated connection and communication, authentication and encryption in the cloud environment, remote management, and, updates.

 

This requires a multi-layered approach working together in a seamless manner to deliver end-to-end security solutions. Let us run through the 3 simple approaches of security in IoT.

 

1.Security of IoT Devices:

The Internet is live and functional throughout the hours for mobile applications, SaaS applications, and other services.

 

The industries must have defensive plans at layers to protect from Distributed Denial of Services [DDoS] with cloud tools apart from the on-site security measures. It is a known fact that the IoT devices like the botnets are used by the cybercriminals for an attack.  

 

The data must be authenticated and encrypted to identify the devices on the network. The SIMs that are M2M optimized or embedded is known to deliver strong authentic features.

 

In addition, tamper-proof environment, safeguarding of the devices centrally stored on the servers, and, etc., would protect the devices.

 

2. Security Standards of IoT:

The sensitive data in transit, the networking layer, application layers, or any communication channels must not be susceptible to attacks.

 

The security standards we use for varied settings hold good for IoT too. They include the use of strong passwords like non-repetitive terms, long words, use of special characters, use tools to set strong passwords, safe storage of passwords, implementation of password manager, and, etc.

 

The devices must be prevented from an automated connection to open WiFi. A few of the measures include access control, end-to-end encryption, tamper-proof to prevent end-to-end hardening, resolving bug issues, managing access, firewall, IDS, and, etc.

 

It should be a mandate to look for inherent risks, potential vulnerabilities, learning to protect, documentation, and other related factors when buying a device.

 

Edge processing is recommended before the data is sent to the cloud. Storage of sensitive data locally or in the private cloud is advisable to eliminate data theft and lessen the volumes of data that has to be forwarded to the cloud.  

 

3. Lifecycle Management of IoT Security:

A long-term strategy for security is essential for robust and continuous use of the devices. The Lifecycle management refers to ensuring security at each level from manufacturing to disposal.

 

The components include assessment of risk, regulatory policies and its audit, regular monitoring of the activity, managing the vendors, creating awareness for the users, regular updates and patches, secure decommissioning, and, etc.

 

Further, the devices must be protected from attackers like the amateurs, petty criminals, cyber espionage groups, terrorists or the sponsored attacks.

 

Wrapping Up:

The adoption of the Internet of Things is increasing day by day as most of the businesses are relying on it.

 

It is necessary to take the security measures at high-end for a secure business. A complete penetration testing of the devices, reverse engineering, manipulation at the physical and logical level are necessary to ensure appropriate security solutions.

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