Authentication is the Answer to Data Security in the Internet of Things

(July 29, 2014) — The language of the future is digital; and with emerging technologies, this future will include interconnected devices that automate the management of the appliances and devices we depend on every day.

We’re seeing the dawn of an era where even the most mundane items are communicating among themselves with little human interaction. Emerging technologies are turning the Internet of Things (IoT), into the Internet of Everything.

Your thermostat detects movement and automatically adjusts the temperature in your home. Over time it senses your preferences and learns when to turn on and off. Your alarm clock can send a signal to your coffee pot and it starts brewing your morning coffee. As your car pulls into your driveway, your home disables the security system and unlocks the front door.

The Internet of Things brings to life a vision of the future where the more manual aspects of life can be automated so we can enjoy more meaningful living. Through widespread advancements in smart technologies, the time to a fully connected world is rapidly advancing.

How we connect devices is changing how we work and live. While with the touch of a smart device we can manage the intricate details of our life, new security consequences complicate the capability of these devices.

Unsecured, smart devices counteract the convenience of the Internet of Things. Many advancements in technology today come without the consideration of potential threats; and without the proper security framework in place, the IoT enables new methods for home and privacy invasion.

As the Internet of Things become more commonplace in the devices we use daily, it will increase the number targets for data security threats.

And security threats to Internet of Things aren’t theoretical—they’re already happening. Recent attacks like the “smart” light bulb password leaks, hacks of Foscam baby monitors, Belkin home automation systems, and hacks of smart cars systems are just the beginning. As the number of intelligent devices rises, the potential damage that could be caused by lack of security will continue to increase.

Because IoT is a relatively new field, device developers aren’t as experienced with security principals as existing software companies.

This is also true for device manufacturers, home security system providers, home automation solutions providers, and industrial systems designers—all of whom have never dealt with the threats associated with data security in networked devices.

For over 20 years, PKI-based solutions have been securely exchanging information across the Internet and PKI usage has skyrocketed as companies are protecting more and more data. PKI is already being used to address problems similar to the ones the Internet of Things is likely to experience, as companies are using it to secure devices like mobile phones, tablets, printers, and WiFi hotspots.

As a leading Certificate Authority and PKI provider, DigiCert can help secure Internet of Things devices. And as a leader in SSL innovation, DigiCert is uniquely situated to meet the security needs of individuals and organizations as they develop new technologies for Internet of Things devices.

DigiCert already provides Internet security products and services to over 80,000 customers in more than 180 countries. Over the last decade, DigiCert’s reputation for agile and rapid solution development to meet customer needs has made us the fastest growing Certificate Authority in the world. DigiCert has increasingly become the Certificate Authority of choice for emerging markets and for data encryption security in emerging technologies.

DigiCert already secures devices for the government and scientific community and is poised to quickly deliver the digital certificates IoT manufacturers need in order to ensure proper data protection for their customers.

Using the existing DigiCert Certificate Management System, manufacturers can utilize automatic issuance of digital certificates for a wide array of devices. The managed certificate system can scale from small tests to full-range deployment in mass production and enables simple management throughout the certificate lifecycle.

DigiCert engineers also consult with organizations to develop a custom deployment solution designed to work with their existing production infrastructures to add strong data security to their IoT devices.

Internet of Things device manufacturers and solutions providers can quickly begin using DigiCert managed certificate systems for Internet of things security. Where other digital certificate providers take days or weeks to set up managed accounts, DigiCert account managers can set up customers immediately—allowing you to begin deploying certificates to secure customer data and devices.

Learn more about DigiCert Internet of Things security and the DigiCert Certificate Management System.

Jason Sabin

DigiCert’s Chief Security Officer Jason Sabin develops innovative products and features to simplify SAAS-based digital certificate management. He oversaw Novell’s Security Review Board, built their first penetration testing teams, and engineers innovative identity and access management solutions within the cloud. He has also filed over 50 patents, earning him the “Utah Genius” award.