IoT Security Compliance: Necessary?

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IoT Security Compliance: Necessary?

Is IoT security compliance necessary? Let's take a look.

· IoT Zone ·
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With so many IoT devices clouding the market, we wonder about the security of each unit. And rightly so, if you consider that cyber attacks cost U.S. enterprises $1.3 million, on average, in 2017. It is predicted that around 29 billion connected devices will be present by 2022, of which around 18 billion will be related to IoT. Given these figures, it is easy to imagine how important it is to have safe and secure IoT devices. In fact, 70 percent of IoT devices have a significant security vulnerability. When there are so many devices connected to each other over nonsecure platforms, the possibility of data security and cybersecurity being compromised are incredibly high. For instance, Chevrolet reported an increase in data usage by 200 percent for its Internet-connected vehicles. In spite of its advantages, this also exposes vehicles to possibilities of a security breach. As expected, hackers were able to remotely control the brakes and steering of one of their vehicles. The impact of such hacking into any physical product is immense. Apart from the loss of brand loyalty, payment of claims, product recall, such security compromises can also lead to loss of life and property. To cite another instance, there have been studies where doctors have been handed hacked devices which have led to the death of simulated patients. It is horrifying to consider the real-life implications.

So, here is a checklist of all important points that must be considered while creating an IoT Security Compliance checklist.

1. Product/Device Lifecycle

Security needs consideration right from the inception stage of the product lifecycle. Security considerations should be embedded in design as well as the functionality of an IoT device. Similarly, the lifecycle of devices being used in the organization also needs to be monitored. For instance, previous employees must not have access to current data, and devices must not stay on a network after the requirement for access is over. A sound security compliance framework must closely monitor who can access specific devices and what actions a device is allowed to perform.

2. Authorization and Authentication

These are the two keywords that must be present in every security assessment checklist. Authority implies role-based access controls over functionalities of an IoT product. This not only limits access in multi-user products but also helps to mitigate the effects if the security of a device or product is compromised. IoT devices perform to their fullest potential by communicating with other IoT devices and networks. This is like a two-sided sword; the threats, at times, can outweigh the benefits. Communication with an unsecured device or network leads to security vulnerabilities due to malicious applications. Thus, a security framework must allow only for authenticated devices to connect with each other.

3. Data Protection

All IoT products must limit the data they collect so that there is a lower chance of data breach. Storing unnecessary data about the consumer leads to a higher chance of data exposure to unauthorized parties. Manufacturing organizations also needs to provide visibility about the data they are collecting and why it is crucial. Further, there should be opt-out options wherever possible.

4. Testing

Testing is an integral part of ensuring the efficiency of your chosen security framework. Testing must include physical testing, digital testing, and third-party testing. Continual testing, followed by relevant patching, is a must for a secure IoT compliance framework.

5. Flexibility

The security framework must be flexible enough to accommodate new tools and guidelines in the industry. An essential way of doing so is making software updates as automated as possible. Allowing this will mean that when new threats are discovered, the mechanisms to deal with vulnerabilities can be updated across all devices without waiting for user validation.

6. Remote Patching

All your IoT products must come with the remote patching functionality. This can help save thousands of dollars spent on product recall or vendor services. Security management can be a lot easier with this functionality, and it also improves the customer user experience.

7. Intrusion Detection

Any number of functionalities are useless unless the IoT compliance framework can detect intrusion and send appropriate alerts in real time. The primary challenge for detecting an intrusion is the incapability of most platforms to process data and conduct analytics. Since data deciphered from IoT is enormous, the platform being used to process such data must be compatible with vast volumes of data. The platform must be able to provide insights such as anomalies in the traffic pattern, malicious behavior to provide behavioral analytics. Any divergence from normal behavior can trigger alerts to required parties, giving them appropriate leads on the action required.

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