While there is a lot of excitement associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), and how it can help make life simpler as a whole, there are also a lot of security risks associated with IoT. IoT will soon be everywhere, and it is already in gadgets such as Wi-Fi cameras, refrigerators, and automobiles. Knowing about these security risks before they become a problem is half of the struggle–in fact, being supremely prepared for hackers can actually help you prevent crimes while strengthening your business security. There are some key things to keep in mind as IoT finds its feet.
Know and Identify Risks From the Beginning
Hackers are certainly getting smarter and they are becoming more well-funded. While there are both "good" and "bad" hackers out there, unfortunately, the bad always overwhelms the good. The problem is, these educated criminals might know a lot more about IoT than you do–and that's problematic. The best thing to do to prevent crimes, in this case, is to have a plan underway for when you do come under attack–and with IoT being a relatively new thing, you certainly will. Hire tech-savvy staff that is on par with hackers, and have an emergency plan in place should the worst happen.
Integrate High-Security Apps From the Beginning
You want an emergency plan in place, but you don't want to have to use it. Integrating the right home security apps into all of your security systems from the start is a must. Test, retest, and then test again until you are positive that there is no hole in the software. Hire several "good" hackers to attempt to break your system. If they can break your system, so can anyone else. This may take longer to get your application rolling out of production, but it will be much more useful to the public–and your profit margins–in the long run.
Use of Segmented Networks
The use of segmented networks must be in place prior to rolling out the IoT carpet. If you do not, one security breach can easily spread to other parts of the network, putting your entire business at risk. If you truly want to strengthen your business' security with IoT, networks must be segmented before any applications are introduced.
Be Flexible With Different Security Systems
Unfortunately, "regular" security systems such as firewalls, antivirus tools, and detection systems will not work in the IoT arena. You must become knowledgeable in all areas of security measures from the beginning. Many IoT components are not built to work with firewalls or other security measures of this nature, so having a layered security system is the best plan of action from the beginning. Also, many of the IoT components are not build for patches or security updates, so keep in mind that this must be a solidly built system before it is released.
When it comes to strengthening your business security with IoT, you must share the responsibility. Your IT managed service client or your in-house security guy will not be enough. You must sit down with device manufacturers to discuss all of the security issues and breaches with each project. Because of the IoT software's wariness for patches and updates, you need an integral knowledge of how everything works before production. Combining forces when it comes to security is not only good for strengthening your business, but also the IoT manufacturer you are forced to partner with.
Increase IT Services
At a time when IT services are becoming more limited with cutbacks, it's time to amp up this area of your business prior to dipping into the IoT world. As you already need to be combining forces with manufacturers, you also need to be able to work closely with your IT staff. If security is not your forte, you should at least be semi-knowledgeable in understanding how the IoT infrastructure works. As you progress, IoT will become much more natural to you as it becomes an integral part of your company.
Keep in mind that this is a new field, and anything can happen. While it is expected to be the wave of the future, this is still a prediction. It's best to not exhaust too many resources building your IoT, but as you see it begin to grow, you will also see the security around your business becoming tighter, therefore, preventing the new wave of cyber criminals from infiltrating your security measures.