Crucial Steps to IoT Cybersecurity

Michael Finnigan
Apr 08, 2019

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to reach 14 billion connected devices by the end of the year and by the end of 2021, 25 billion. Allowing flexible connectivity and data exchange between billions of assets and processes provides a major opportunity for businesses. Outdated business practices are being replaced with new and improved ones. IoT is providing businesses with great tools, efficient connectivity and sophisticated management of their data, but it also comes with an increased risk of cyber threats.

Research has proven that almost all IoT devices have vulnerabilities in regard to data encryption, password security, and other login-related errors. Considering that IoT is connected to almost all digital aspects of a company, and that devices, applications, and modems talk to each other and share data, the risk that is involved is unquestionably high. Hence, it is imperative to balance the emerging technology with data security. Surprisingly, as of today, there are no existing national standards for IoT security, allowing manufacturers to choose how secure they want their devices to be. Consequently, cybersecurity has become more crucial than ever.

Before building an IoT cybersecurity system, you need to consider the entire ecosystem involved. Below are 6 steps to IoT cybersecurity:

1. Identify key assets

Evaluate and comprehend key assets and the importance of safeguarding them.

2. Adopt a security strategy

Analyze and understand the risk factors of your devices, and create and apply security measures which align with your company’s business approach.

3. Utilize data insights

Identify and foresee where and when cyber threats may arise. Look beyond the IoT device security. Analytics from both devices and applications connected with IoT should be taken into account.

4. Set access requirements for IoT devices

Ensure authorized connection of IoT devices by meeting certain security requirements, and where possible, extend existing security solutions. This will prevent a threat from expanding through the entire system, should a security breach occur.

5. Educate employees

Make sure all parties involved in your organization with your IoT practices have a clear understanding of accountability and liability related to cyber security risks.

6. Build an advanced Security Operations Center

Especially with the increase in connected endpoints, this will help create new types of controls according to unique types of threats, which will allow for a more effective risk management, as well as better business decisions.