IoT is transforming businesses across industries. The technology has not just enabled them to optimize processes for efficiency, it has also enhanced product offerings and helped them transform customer experiences. While industry leaders are eagerly leveraging business opportunities available through the technology, IoT security challenges on adoption have always been unclear and a big concern.
This is due to two main reasons – incompatible solutions and immature security offerings that fail to secure deployments, leading to putting the business at risk of cyberattacks like data breach.
One of the sectors that has witnessed a rapid increase in IoT adoption is healthcare. For instance, Chicago is installing cameras and sensors at most intersections. Their goal is to detect pollen count and air quality for its citizens. Or, City of Newport deployed smart city IoT solutions to improve air quality, flood control and waste management. It’s easy to say, IoT is the latest buzzword for discussion and implementation.
In fact, according to Machina Research, the global IoT market is all set to reach $4.3 trillion by 2024.
However, while enterprises and states are eager to leverage IoT to bring better business opportunities, adopting a secure IoT secure is still a concern to be thought about. Features, services and solutions were not secure by default neither the updates and maintenance were automatic for encrypted communication and over-the-air (OTA) updates. In short, a lot of data can be misused- but not when implemented with AWS.
In this article, we will be discussing the common IoT security concerns across industries and the best practices to address those IoT security problems, along with how you start your AWS journey to mitigate security and privacy in IoT.
IoT security vulnerabilities and challenges
One of the biggest reasons why IoT ecosystems are not considered secure is that the features and devices connected are not ‘protected’ by default. There is also no automatic update to the key IoT security practices such as encrypted communication. So most of the connected devices in the ecosystem remain outdated, increasing IoT issues.
What makes IoT security concerns worse is that very few providers support the ability to patch the devices and gateways remotely, after implementation. This further leaves room for security risks, as any of the connected devices, can be hijacked.
The main target points in the IoT layers are the devices, the network and connections, and the cloud infrastructure. With over 12,000+ malware strains being introduced into the digital landscape, there are many ways in which connected devices can be hacked into. The changing nature of these cyberattacks worsens the IoT security problems.
“With 25 billion connected things by 2021, wireless networks and data will open new business opportunities. But it will also open doors to never-seen-before security threats.” Gartner
IoT security challenges are in every industry. Right from smart homes to manufacturing plants and connected cars, it is only the severity of the impact that varies.
For example, a connected device in the healthcare IoT ecosystem. If the connected health device gets hacked into, it might result in administering too much medication to a patient. This can be life-threatening.
Similarly, imagine IoT security problems in a water supply grid. An overflow without preparations can be disastrous.
So how do you leverage IoT as technology and yet ensure security?
IoT security best practices
The measures you implement to address IoT security challenges vary depending on your application and how you’re placed in the ecosystem. But a few best practices that need to be followed across all industries and applications, including:
Incorporate security measures at the design phase
Devices in an IoT ecosystem share large amounts of sensitive data. Users connected to the network are also given the ability to control these devices. That makes it important to address security at the design phase of the ecosystem and it needs to be dynamic in nature. Applications must continually model, monitor and iterate the IoT security best practices.
Not most physical devices have a limited lifecycle. The constrained hardware for sensors, microcontrollers, actuators, and embedded libraries limit the security capabilities each device is able to perform. Therefore, take into account that the solutions you implement continuously adapt their architecture, firmware, and software to ensure IoT security.
Build on robust IT security and cybersecurity frameworks
When considering connecting thousands of devices and establishing connection points to create an IoT ecosystem, it is important to ensure the ability of objects to exchange and make use of data. That’s where building this ecosystem on top of robust frameworks like the AWS comes in to counter the internet of things security issues.
The AWS IoT core supports all industry-standard and customer protocols, adhering to best practices to address the internet of things security and privacy issues. This also allows devices in the ecosystem to communicate with one another even if they’re using different protocols.
Some of the benefits of using AWS to address IoT security challenges include:
- Easy scalability with the ability to repeat and reuse frameworks
- Promotes the compatibility of technology in the ecosystem
- Ensures interoperability across geographical boundaries
- Accelerates IT transformation
Measure impact to prioritize security measures
Cyber attacks are never identical. They also might not have the same impact on two businesses in the same industry. That’s why it is important to continually analyze the changing customer IoT ecosystems and how the devices operate within this ecosystem. This helps you identify the weakest points in the network that are prone to greater risks.
Doing so is possible when you focus on assessing the risk impact and consequences closely. The analysis helps you derive actionables in terms of where your security efforts need to be directed.
PKI and other digital certificates
Another best practice to address the internet of things security vulnerabilities and challenges is to establish a public key infrastructure (PKI). Along with 509 digital certificates, it plays a critical role in developing a secure IoT ecosystem. It provides trust and control needed to identify public encryption keys, secure data exchanges over networks and verify object identities.
Consumer education and team integration
Consumers must be made aware of the internet of things security issues. They should then be equipped with the steps they need to take to ensure IoT security at all times – even those as simple as updating their default credentials and applying software updates regularly.
Apart from the training your team on IoT challenges and issues, it is also important to integrate siloed teams. For instance, asking your technology developers to work closely with security specialists. This joint effort can ensure that proper controls are being added to objects in the ecosystem during the development phase, ensuring security and privacy in IoT.
Addressing IoT security issues with AWS
Embracing IoT in your business work process requires you to rethink how industrial systems are designed and used. It requires you to not just identify processes that can be optimized using the technology, but also build security into the roots of the connected devices to shield them from cyber-attacks throughout their lifecycle.
Analyzing your business needs, vetting the IoT security solutions available and then implementing them can be an overwhelming journey. The chances of you missing out on critical information in the process might even put you at high-risk post-implementation.
That’s where AWS comes in. The cloud computing solutions implemented enable IoT to scale globally, lowering communication latency and allowing better responsiveness from the on-field devices.
AWS also offers a suite of IoT services. With services to operate and secure endpoints, gateways, platforms and applications in the ecosystem, as well as the traffic through the IoT layers, it simplifies management and use of devices. This enables devices to continually interact with one another and transfer data, allowing companies to benefit from the technology, without being prone to IoT risks and challenges. Learn more about it here.
Simply put, AWS makes your IoT ecosystem more efficient while ensuring security at all endpoints.
But understanding the nuances of AWS and implementing the right solutions for your IoT application can be overwhelming. Working with AWS advanced consulting partners like Rapyder can help you tread on the AWS journey with ease.
Rapyder offers leading IoT security solutions and services to help you set up a robust ecosystem. An ecosystem that protects all your connected objects through their entire lifecycle, against the ever-changing nature of cyberattacks.
The IoT security team guides you every step of the way to ensure you get the most out of the technology. They assess your business’s current needs, evaluate your future needs and get you the right combination of reliable and scalable IoT security solutions that can adapt to changes without slowing down any of the existing processes.
So whether you’re someone who is re-evaluating an existing connected device or designing a new one, it’s time to get Rapyder on your side.
Understand and mitigate IoT security risks and challenges with Rapyder.