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4 tips to deploy a secure IoT ecosystem

Deploying a secure IoT ecosystem has become the subject of scrutiny as there have been a number of high-profile incidents where an IoT device was used to attack a larger network. Hence, implementing security measures is crucial to ensure the safety of networks along with IoT devices connected to them and the data associated with them.

 

Here are 4 things to consider for deploying a secure IoT.

Device security

With these many devices connected to the Internet, the chances of security issues like cyberattacks, device tampering, and others are on the higher side.

Many devices might operate constantly without anyone attending to them, and hence, they become prone to security implied by regular and direct observation. Making these devices tamper-proof is essential because such precautions can help in blocking potential intruders from reaching to critical data.

The deployment of a layered approach requires attackers to bypass multiple obstacles designed to protect the device and the data associated with that device from unauthorized access and use. There are several known vulnerabilities such as open TCP/UDP ports, open password prompts, and places to inject code such as web servers, and unencrypted communications, which should be protected by companies.

Upgrading devices or deploying security patches as and when needed is another good practice towards implementing secure IoT. However, many device vendors are not focused on security while manufacturing or selling them. Therefore, before investing in devices that will be connected to the Internet, it is important to evaluate the security capabilities of devices and ensure that the vendors have thoroughly tested the devices for security.

Network security

Along with devices, companies need to make sure that the networks they use to connect their devices to deploy IoT are secure. For this, they need to use strong user authentication and access control mechanism. This ensures them that only authorized users can get access to their networks and data.

Passwords are another security-prone element of IoT deployment. Hence, passwords must be sophisticated enough to resist educated guessing. This can further be improved with two-factor authentication which requires users to enter another authentication factor such as one-time password (OTP) or a code generated via email or SMS in addition to the password.

Context-aware authentication suits the best for IoT applications. It provides answers to the following:

  • Who the user is
  • What is the user requesting
  • When and where is the request made

This prevents unauthorized end-users or insecure computing devices from being able to access data. Another good network security practice is to use strong encryption to secure protocols. There are numerous network protocols used at various layers of IoT and IIoT that can be potentially hacked. Encryption provides multiple obstacles to network-based attacks to secure both network layer and transport layer.

Data security

It is highly essential to protect data to ensure trust among their customers, and not just because of regulations like GDPR. Companies that fail to protect data not only face regulatory penalties but also see an adverse impact on their businesses.

Several connected devices store and transmit sensitive data that needs to be strongly secured. Strong security policies and a comprehensive training program for individuals involved in IoT deployment are good security measures. With audits at multiple levels of IoT operations that involve data storing, retrieving, and analyzing, endpoint anomaly detection, and responsive forensic security, companies can easily detect breaches and take effective and timely measures.

Communication is the key

As mentioned previously in this blog, a major threat that concerns IoT deployment is the security related to the devices, which is considered secondary by leaders. But, with inputs from other departments like IT and technical team, leaders can acknowledge the importance of such security factors. Clear communication is equally important between different departments to overcome security challenges.
IT departments everywhere have always complained about the lack of security concerns of other departments. Hence, a proper understanding and training is essential throughout the organization. IoT deployment demands cooperation between IT and other business operations to know what security measures should be implemented for your business.

Tackling security issues together

It is obvious that you would be concerned about protecting your devices, networks, and most importantly data. But it doesn’t mean that you should entirely scared by the idea of implementing IoT.

With all the above-mentioned security measures in place, attackers won’t be able to reach into your IoT ecosystem. Your IoT system will become digitally secure by prioritizing an IoT solution that implements triple-layer security from day one.

We have a designed a workshop for IoT implementation that will help you understand the security aspect in-depth. This workshop provides you with checklists, guidelines, and helpful discussions to take your IoT project from idea to reality.

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