November 25, 2018 Return to overview

3 Hidden IOT Security Secrets

What can IoT users do to make their deployments and networks as secure as possible? These tips from Davra might help.


Three IoT Security Principles That Every Enterprise Must Master to Thrive

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is growing at an astounding pace. With sources like Forbes predicting that the bulk of this growth will originate in B2B sectors, it’s worth considering how firms plan on protecting their systems, data, networks and users from an ever-expanding assemblage of hazards. Since many leading IoT solutions are expressly made for convenience, it’s highly probable that some enterprises will plunge in without properly considering the dangers.

Fortunately, there’s still hope. Even as some firms rush headlong towards less-than-safe deployments and ill-advised policies, longtime veterans are setting new standards in IoT threat assessment, disaster response and network safety. For those still feeling lost, these leaders act as the ideal archetypes to follow. Here are three quick pointers from the award-winning Davra experts on how to unleash the ultimate IoT security strategy.

1. Ditch the Wild West Mentality

It’s a common misconception that the IoT is a place of total anarchy. While those old enough to recall the early days of the public internet will surely be forgiven for anticipating more of the same, it would be a grave mistake to assume that people haven’t learned from past missteps.

The fact that anyone can build a basic IoT deployment doesn’t mean that just anyone should. In the same vein, the freedom that distributed computing offers doesn’t mean that there are no standards. No matter how enterprises want to leverage these novel forms of connectivity, there are safe ways to do things, so there’s no excuse for falling short.

Getting More Informed

Where should IoT users look for security inspirations? Proven industry leaders are usually good sources. In addition to partnering with vendors that have established threat response track records, cities, businesses and other users need to bring themselves up to speed on the unique risks associated with the IoT. Luckily, the IoT Security Foundation, which includes members like Intel, ARM and IBM, made this task a bit less daunting by breaking down the essentials in a series of helpful guides.

2. Define Clear Responsibilities

One of the first steps in creating a secure network is deciding who to hold accountable. When things go wrong, for instance, understanding who or what failed is essential to avoiding repeat issues later. Implementing an unambiguous division of labor also reduces the chance of irrecoverable disasters by ensuring that everyone knows how to respond to events such as hacks and human errors in the heat of the moment.

Any IoT emergency plan that waits until an actual crisis to kick in is a prime example of too little, too late. Although on-the-spot reactions are critical to damage control, the most impactful strategies work overtime to deal with risks long before they actually rear their ugly heads.

Be More Proactive

All good IT security starts with risk assessment. To fight threats, it’s vital to understand what they entail, and since each deployment is unique, self-evaluation is a must. Practices such as audits, penetration tests and routine diagnostics should be at the forefront of every IoT platform owner’s to-do list.

It isn’t always easy to get the ball rolling, but having a trustworthy partner helps loads. Experienced IoT platform vendors can offer critical outsider perspectives that make it much simpler to identify hazardous practices before they become permanently ingrained in a corporate culture or key operational process. From there, it naturally follows to analyze how said risks relate to current activities and abandon or modify them as necessary.

Adopt a Broader Perspective

IoT security is a different breed of beast than traditional IT security. For all of their similarities, the two remain separated by some inescapable distinctions that bear mind-blowing data safety implications. One of the biggest contrasts is the fact that the IoT is designed to go everywhere the normal internet can’t.

This reality necessitates an evolution of thought and a close look at some novel concerns. Will adding a new wireless sensor to a factory production line also make it easier for a disgruntled employee to commit corporate espionage? Could someone who hacks a public-facing city website exploit a backdoor that lets them access surveillance cameras?

These types of challenges are by no means insurmountable, but they can be quite unexpected. Merely anticipating them may take a good deal of lateral thinking, and finding viable answers requires unique expertise. Companies that want to make the right moves need to flex their strongest decision-making skills and be willing to solicit aid.

3. Users Can’t Afford to Quit Improving

Another key facet of IoT deployments is that they change nonstop. Whether it’s because a company wants to grow its facilities or a municipality is undergoing a population boom, connected networks tend to leave their traditional static counterparts in the dust where dynamic systems are concerned.

This fluidity means that security must be an ongoing undertaking. Actions that seem innocuous, such as linking a new edge network to an existing deployment or swapping out sensor hardware, demand careful consideration. This isn’t to say that the pursuit of IoT perfection isn’t worth the effort, but users need to prepare themselves for fresh security stresses and realities moving forward, and slacking off isn’t an option.

Luckily, there’s more to this security secret than just taking on new responsibilities. What many people don’t know is that the world’s greatest IoT platforms automate a lot of the legwork. Features like access control, threat detection, hardened runtime environments, secure communications and customizable component trust levels help users draw clear lines in the sand and take control of their data safety practices. Today’s IT threats may indeed be everywhere, but with the right platforms, enterprises no longer have to face them solo.

Want to put these ideas into practice? Pick a platform that includes secure hardware, robust software and comprehensive oversight by default. Try Davra today.

Brian Mc Glynn

Davra

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