The Internet of Things – Security Risks and Solutions

We have spoken time and time again about the potential of the Internet of Things. While its many...

We have spoken time and time again about the potential of the Internet of Things. While its many benefits are undeniable, the security concerns around IoT are real as well.

Internet of Things, by nature, is an open system and has many components (most of which are connected through online or Bluetooth networks). This makes it susceptible to security threats at both the component level and system level.

Let us take look at the various types of risks and the recommended IoT security solutions.

IoT Security Risks

  • Privacy
    The most commonly known IoT security risk is data security. Many IoT systems require users to share some data or depend on data being stored in the cloud. Thus, IoT solutions run the risk of data and identity thefts.

  • Device safety
    It’s a popular saying within tech circles that convenience comes at the cost of security. IoT based systems like pre-programmed cars for auto-unlock doors and engine starters by GPS trigger is convenient but also increases manipulation risk for theft.

  • Virus attacks
    Malware and other virus threats are also possibilities in Internet of things based systems. Generally, the virus is introduced at the component level and it spreads to the entire system through its communication channels.

Ways to ensure IoT Security

  • Preventive Approach
    The best security systems are planned from day one. Make security a major selection criterion and prefer devices and connectivity systems with robust in-built security. But that is just stage one. Once you have the system plan ready, you must do extensive beta tests before implementing the system. Testing should be for faulty controls, bugs and other risks.

  • Team Work
    Security systems for IoT’s network, devices, cloud system, and web software should be compatible and complementary. For example, all components must follow the same data encryption standards. Another thing to keep in mind is that security updates must be easy to install on individual components and also on the complete system.

  • Multi-faceted Security Systems
    Just having firewall, anti-virus, hacking protection or other regular security systems isn’t enough for the Internet of Things. As there are multiple devices and connectivity tools, it needs a multi-layered security system. It must also be noted that IoT system’s security requirements are as diverse as its applications. An IoT system that controls lighting and temperature in a hotel room works very differently from a fleet management solution. You must plan the security features in accordance with your setup.

  • Segmented Networks
    It’s important to keep security systems of each component independently controlled. This allows easy access and management. An autonomous system also simplifies installing updates and security patches. Chances of issues getting sorted at component level are higher as well.

To summarize, security is a real risk in a complex and connections driven system like IoT, but it can be managed with smart planning and the right security systems. Internet of Things is a great tool, and its security concerns are, by no means, a deal breaker.