You’ve got a fantastic IoT device in development, but have you thought about how you’ll secure it? Companies that provide strong security at scale will be able to use that as a key differentiator for their products, protect their brand and future-proof their products as calls for stricter requirements regarding device security loom on the horizon.
Analysts predict that there will be nearly 20 to 30 billion IoT devices connected to various networks by 2020, and the industry is scrambling on how to solve the problem of IoT device security. That’s why we’ve put together a checklist to help you develop an action plan to set you apart from your competitors to deal with these threats and make security an integral part of your devices.
IoT Device Security at Scale
Here’s the problem. Not only must you secure the devices you create, but you have to consider the networks in which they operate. Networks up to now were self-contained through a wired system with no need to communicate outside corporate walls. But that’s all changing with companies transitioning to a wireless infrastructure.
For example, utilities and state regulators are keen to improve energy efficiency and are starting to demand external communication and control of commercial devices, particularly lighting. However, each additional end node in the infrastructure offers hackers a potential intrusion point. If many devices are the same design with the same weakness, then that leaves the door open for a large-scale remote attack. Government regulators aren’t far behind the private sector, where network connectivity is already starting to be mandated in some states (e.g., California Rule 21).
Most IoT devices are small with limited capabilities and as a result many manufacturers feel they are not worth protecting since they contain little information. While they are correct about the devices themselves not being of much value, the error in the logic is that they are forgetting that the real value is the device’s network connection to the ecosystem, not the device itself. IoT devices are largely autonomous; they login to the network on their own, they gather and transmit data on their own. They are, in effect, a user on your network and should be treated as such by requiring them to authenticate, or identify, themselves in a cryptographically verifiable way.
Our checklist will show you ways to economically and successfully design and implement devices that incorporate robust authentication-based security and address manufacturing, installation, and updating processes that will set you apart.