According to a recent Ponemon study, only 30 percent of respondents said their organization dedicates an appropriate segment of its budget to secure mobile applications and IoT devices. As the number of IoT endpoints skyrockets, this low attention to security should be of significant concern.
While the data generated by IoT devices is of great value to businesses, it also represents a potential treasure trove for criminals. When launching an IoT application, the following five must-haves will reduce security risk:
Data encryption: Is your data sufficiently protected? Many IoT devices transmit some degree of confidential or personal information. Some examples include personal patient and customer information in industries such as healthcare, retail or financial services. Data encryption changes information so that it’s unreadable to anyone who does not have the “key” allowing them to change it back to its original form.
Access control: Who can access your data/systems? In some instances, confidentiality is far less important than access control. An example use case is an IoT application that opens or closes your car door – no confidential information is being shared but you would not want unauthorized parties to access this system.
Continuous monitoring: Do you know when something goes wrong? Even the strongest preventive security systems aren’t foolproof. Statistically, every organization will likely experience a security breach of some degree, regardless of precautions. The key is shrinking potential damage to its smallest form. Early detection of an event allows for a quicker response, thus reducing the risk of malicious use.
Quality network partners: Are they secure? The majority of IoT applications rely on cellular connectivity. Typically, three networks are involved: Mobile Network Operator (MNO), IoT operator and the Internet. If third-party network providers don’t meet security requirements, data is at risk. It’s crucial to vet partners to ensure they employ the most up-to-date protocols and technology.
Secure foundation: Are you building with security in mind? If security isn’t prioritized in the initial design, it will be more difficult to integrate later in the process. Identifying potential threats early in the process enables you to quickly find a solution.
IoT security is a very serious challenge, but one that can be addressed to ensure risks are reduced to a bare minimum.