More Devices, More Vulnerable Endpoints: 5 Essential Steps to Secure Enterprise IoT Deployments
While IoT applications offer many benefits, they also come with increased security risks. Each device added to the network represents a potentially vulnerable endpoint. With the cost of worldwide cybercrime predicted to reach $6 trillion by 2021, organizations must be alert to the added vulnerabilities associated with IoT deployments.
Here are five essential steps to secure IoT devices that enterprises should be aware of and strive to address.
1. Ensure Data Encryption
Data encryption is an essential component of cybersecurity protocol. However, in the world of IoT, where software and hardware often originate from an array of vendors and manufacturers, it is sometimes overlooked. Enterprise IT teams must be vigilant about ensuring all data is encrypted in both directions, from every endpoint, using standard encryption methods.
2. Regularly Update Keys and Ensure Secure Storage
Enterprises must use robust security keys and update them frequently to minimize vulnerabilities. IoT devices are in the field, which exposes them to far more physical security threats than a server in a locked building. Organizations need to identify the best ways to store security keys based on the device and its risk factors. The most secure option by far is to store them within the chip.
3. Secure End-to-End Communications
IoT has many connected parts. No matter how many devices enterprises deploy, data communications are occurring across larger areas with endpoints at higher risk than when companies stored and processed data on-premises. From device to data transportation to platform communications, ensuring secure communications should be a priority. The most effective way to guarantee data security is by choosing a single provider for all hardware, edge devices, and management software. Having one provider will create a sealed environment with fewer doors of entry for cybercriminals.
4. Ensure Devices Remain Accessible after Deployment
The point of an IoT deployment is to gather data from dispersed devices. However, some organizations neglect to consider the many ways they will need to access those devices to keep the network running smoothly. For example, firmware and hardware must be updated with the latest security patches and added features to remain optimally secure. Over time, devices may require battery replacements, repairs or other maintenance. Sending personnel to make repairs may be necessary for some situations, but most device maintenance can be handled remotely — if the groundwork exists. Enterprises should look for device management tools that provide the capabilities for remote updates, preventive maintenance, and monitoring. These features will yield tremendous savings in both costs and time.
5. Build In Security from the Ground Up
Many enterprises are rightly concerned about IoT security. When companies create an IoT project and attempt to add protection to it, the process becomes complicated. Moreover, enterprise leaders too often fail to take the necessary steps to protect the devices. The best path to robust IoT security is to start by building it into your deployment.
Security is not a static decision — it should be an ongoing priority. Enterprises must start strong with a network that’s sealed and secure, but they also need to keep device firmware and software up-to-date and stay abreast of emerging cyber threats.
To do this well, join forces with a trusted IoT solutions partner that can simplify the entire process and provide the expertise you need to succeed. Telit’s OneEdge is an innovative, module-enabled embedded software system with easy-to-use device management tools that take you from The First Mile™ of your IoT deployment to the last.