The Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere, linking our homes, offices, cars, personal fitness and coffee machines into one giant connected network. With an estimated 5.5 million new “things” connected each day, and an expected 6.4 billion in circulation by the end of 2016, according to Gartner research, the IoT will increasingly become part of our lives.
With all these devices connected and communicating many of our personal and private information, security of IoT is more important than ever. Even the smallest, most minimally connected device must have the appropriate safeguards built in throughout its lifecycle. It’s time to focus on IoT security at the point of design to securely manage devices from inception through implementation.
Here are 5 basic tips for implementing IoT security:
1. Implementing BYOD policies
Data breaches are often the result of employees losing track of company-owned devices such as laptops, tablets and storage devices containing sensitive information. This problem is made worse by employees using their own devices for work related tasks. Businesses must be implementing policies that stress the need for employees to keep track of their devices, as well as encrypting their company-owned devices using a certified encryption methodology.
2. It must start with the manufacturers
Achieving security with IoT devices may rest less on the businesses that use IoT devices and more on those that manufacture them. Manufacturers must be designing security from the beginning, both in software and hardware.
3. Broad security is a necessity
IoT security must span beyond just the end device, but also through the cloud and any other systems that touch the device. Vulnerabilities affecting end devices can also have a negative impact on the systems and service that the device uses.
4. Don’t be afraid of manual
While technology is amazing and can help make our lives easier, over-reliance on technology can only lead to disaster. IoT holds personal information, financial data, and other sensitive information, so businesses and individuals must be careful to jump into this increasingly-interconnected world only to put themselves in the path of additional risk of attack.
5. Pile on the layers of security
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) secures one’s home or business network to allow traffic only from verified devices, or at least separates the unverified traffic out. IoT is making it easier for malicious hackers to access verified information through these devices. A VPN can prevent this, adding an additional layer of security.
As IoT takes over, the security aspect of it will require a great deal of thought, planning, coordination and action. Here are more tips for preparing for the future of IoT.