Enterprises with plans to deploy sensitive data through IoT must ensure privacy and security. Adopting a security-first approach is imperative for every business, and that means working with the right IoT data security procedures, using products designed with security in mind and deploying an IoT platform that helps with encryption, authentication and patching. For enterprises handling the data of thousands, or even millions, of customers, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Security As an Afterthought
Unfortunately, development of IoT technology has often treated security as an afterthought, and the problem is well understood by those in the industry. In fact, BI Intelligence released a survey of technology executives in which 39 percent of respondents indicated that IoT security and privacy issues were the primary barriers preventing them from investing in the technology.
It’s natural that enterprises want to take advantage of the numerous benefits of IoT technology. However, in the race to gain market share and improve efficiency, security can often provide a significant hurdle to adoption. Typically, IoT solutions involve generating huge amounts of data and storing this data on a vulnerable, cloud-based architecture.
Many IoT operating systems lack robust security functions so the enterprise itself must often cobble together security fixes to bolster the inherent vulnerabilities present in some IoT devices.
Many Enterprises Are Using Outdated Technology
Many enterprises utilize IoT solutions that don’t incorporate encryption or access-control limits into their design. A study from HP found that 70 percent of IoT devices are vulnerable to attack and that IoT devices had an average of 25 vulnerabilities per device, with many of these vulnerabilities attributable to encryption issues. While the trend is moving toward more encryption, companies need to ensure they’re working with products that have these latest feature built in.
There’s also the challenge of updating multiple outdated IoT devices automatically, especially when they’re running different operating systems. For enterprises, this means an IoT platform that allows Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) for easy security updates across numerous remote devices, ensuring users have the protection they need while also reducing the resource burden on enterprises associated with updating millions of devices.
An IoT Platform That Adopts a Security-First Approach
Research from Auth0 found that 90 percent of surveyed consumers didn’t believe IoT devices have the security they should have. One of the biggest ways for a company to lose the faith of its customers is to experience a data breach. That’s why enterprises need an IoT platform that ensures thorough authentication procedures, proper session management and strong default credentials. It’s important for enterprises that the right user is using the right device at all times, or customer data is at risk.
An IoT platform should ensure data is encrypted both when it’s at rest and when it’s in motion. Often, it’s easier for companies to decrypt data when it’s in motion since it requires less computing power to transfer. This may improve efficiency, but it’s the type of approach that fails to put security first.
Enterprises can also benefit from an IoT platform that includes penetration testing, both on individual IoT products and on the networks transmitting and storing IoT data. In the end, every company should be suspicious about the security of its networks; constant auditing and testing may help preempt and eliminate the major risks of using IoT.
Ultimately, the security challenges for IoT can be steep, and requires a vigilant approach that includes working with smart IoT platform vendors, secure cloud storage and dedicated policies for protecting company and user data to ensure protection of organizational data.