The Internet of Things has become one of the most exciting developments for network connectivity. The number of IoT devices is predicted to exceed 40 billion by 2020, and their potential benefit to industrial success is limitless. However, the possibility of unforeseen damage grows by connecting multiple devices especially for business. IoT device security is not generally addressed at the beginning of device development because manufacturers are anxious for their product’s market debut. Consequently, if an IoT device is breached, the company using that device could lose millions of dollars in revenue and private consumer data, in turn earning themselves a tainted brand image among a slew of other things.
SC Magazine recently released a white paper about securing the Internet of Things that outlines a few suggestions for better security within the IoT. Consider a few vulnerable areas that are too complex for current standard security practices:
- Devices and Equipment: IoT devices are built to transmit data, including personal and sensitive data you may not want floating around. Managing end-point security for each device individually is too complicated because there are too many to track over the many networks used to communicate. Thus, IT professionals need to think about how to implement protection for data in motion.
- Networks and Transmission Techniques: Mobile, wireless, and private networks require stronger security because data may be transmitted across networks, external applications, and different web interfaces. Organizations should assume that information transmitted by IoT devices will travel across many networks and through several applications, and hackers will find and exploit any unsecured vulnerabilities in each of them. Security should begin with SSL/TLS encryption and expand to PKI for IoT deployments to create strong identity and authentication, encryption, and data integrity.
- The Cloud: Cloud compatibility is one of the IoT’s next greatest assets, making communication and transmission even faster and more convenient. But protecting perimeter security is difficult in a cloud-based network as data crosses unguarded cloud networks. The end-to-end encryption in the cloud today “should ensure data integrity across physical, virtual, local, and cloud-based machines, giving companies ultimate flexibility to architect heir IoT solutions as they wish.”
Industries should be excited about the new and intriguing developments in the IoT. But any new idea has its paired precautions. IoT device manufacturers have not made security a priority, therefore, primary precautions in IoT lie with data security and maintaining enterprise privacy and integrity.