A few years ago, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore published his predictions for the digital revolution – what was later referenced by many as Moore’s Law. So Moore evidently believed that as time passes, the power of computing abilities would improve exponentially while their relative cost goes down.
Today, we see it all coming true. The rapid growth of technology drives innovation across enterprises while making cutting-edge tech affordable for the average joe. One such tech that’s been creating a lot of buzz for the last couple of years is the Internet of Things. The IoT technology is about smart devices connected to a network communicating with each other to perform various tasks without the need for human intervention.
The possibilities presented by IoT are endless. However, there are also risks associated with the tech. Since IoT-enabled devices are all interconnected in a network, an isolated security breach can potentially compromise all the devices in the network as well as the integrity of the IoT ecosystem. IoT security has been a cause of major concern for many companies; also the reason why several organizations are still reluctant to invest in the technology despite IoT gaining momentum overtime.
But all of that can be fixed however. All it takes is a dedicated effort to secure and protect IoT devices. Here are a few security strategies that could help.
Secure storage of Access Logs
Surprisingly, one of the most common security issues associated with IoT is the lack of awareness of the IT department when devices are connecting to the network. They certainly know the devices connected to the system and possess the access logs as well. But the device identification and/or verification processes at present cannot address the tremendous amounts of IoT devices going online. This makes it rather easy for hackers to launch an attack.
To address this issue, access logs should be securely stored in a centralized repository monitored by trained cyber-security professionals who should also keep an eye IoT endpoints for DDoS threats.
IoT is still evolving. Best practices become outdated rather quickly. This applies to security practices as well. At present, IoT encryption practices are full of exploitable gaps. In addition, not many organizations use powerful encryption to secure communications in the IoT ecosystem.
Every kind of traffic and data should be secured by the most reliable security protocols. Web traffic should be secured by HTTPS, DNS security extensions, and other secure protocols while stored data on flash drives are fortified by anti-malware programs.
Secure password policies
A typical domestic IoT device – be it a network printer, router, or some kind of sensor most likely won’t have strong authentication and access protocols. For an organization, this approach is an open invitation for cyber-criminals. There are organizations that don’t even consider multi-factor authentication when dealing with IoT.
Robust authentication and access mechanisms can make all the difference. As part of the IoT security strategy, it’s wise to implement policies that recommend strong and unique passwords that use uppercase/lowercase letters, numbers, and even symbols. Additionally, end users must also be made aware of the importance of security and the best security practices.
Security-based design principles
If you think every IoT device manufacturer prioritizes incorporating powerful security features right from the design phase itself, you are wrong. The concept of reinforcing security, in many organizations, generally doesn’t have a spot in the design lifecycle of IoT devices. Some devices aren’t even adequately tested for security vulnerabilities potentially leading to the devices getting malware-infected along with the supply chain.
This is why it’s important to consider improving security and privacy in the entire supply chain. If the manufacturers plan to sell their services on a contract basis, they should also be willing to adopt security-based design principles while designing their products; especially if the manufacturer intends to keep customers locked with contracts for a long time.
It should be observed that cyber vulnerabilities can potentially increase along with technological advancements. At present, cyber-security is unable to catch up with the growing momentum of new-gen technologies like IoT, blockchain and the likes. There is progress however.
While cyber-criminals are on the lookout for opportunities and security gaps they can exploit to launch an attack, it’s important to invest in security from all fronts – be it securing data, communications, network, accessibility etc. If the IoT manufacturer values security that much, they will get more credibility among the end-users who can then use the tech without being concerned about their data being compromised.
If IoT is to succeed, security needs to be prioritized.
At AOT, security for our digital solutions is one of our top priorities. Rest assured that the IoT solutions from us will feature top-notch fortifications and powerful security barriers to safeguard your data. Talk to our experts to get a detailed understanding of our security practices.