How to Secure the Internet of Things

September 15, 2016

The Internet of Things. What started as a buzzword and visions of becoming George Jetson with our refrigerators quickly telling our phones that we are out of milk only to have our phones remind us while we drive by the grocery store. While we haven’t quite mastered the Jetson’s lifestyle, the Internet of Things (IoT) has certainly changed business, and life, as we know it. Buildings, cars, consumer products, and people are now information spaces. Our entire environment is made up of data points that can be just noise if you don’t know how to read it. Gartner estimates that by 2020 the IoT will grow to 26 billion units installed and IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services. That is a lot of data to analyze and if you don’t have a plan already, you may already be behind. The time is now to start having the important conversations on the technologies, security, data privacy and enormous potential that an Internet of Things is capable of. The IoT is poised to permeate every aspect of our lives. We can hardly begin to imagine what that will mean for how we do business, how we work, how we spend our personal time and how we carry out our daily lives – never mind the security and data privacy implications. But if we want to have any control over how data is collected, used and protected, we need to start the discussion today. iStock_000048464426_FullJust as the web has forced companies to become digital publishers, the IoT will force companies into new lines of business; most notably, technology provider. Participation in the IoT will require a new technology infrastructure that includes the ‘things’ that comprise the IoT, a communications network and the cloud. Each layer will introduce its own risks and constraints. Some will be familiar, like the need to protect sensitive data as it traverses public networks. Others will be new, such as the impracticality of patching or installing anti-virus software on IoT devices after they’ve gone to market. If we are to have any hope of maintaining security and data privacy in the IoT, we must address these issues now. And the discussion has to include everyone – technology providers, practitioners, device manufacturers, standards organizations and even consumers (who, ultimately, stand to lose the most in terms of data privacy). This conversation has to start today. What are the security implications? We have already seen the need for a Bring Your Own Device policy at any organization that allows employees to connect to the network. What happens when that device connects outside of the office, through a free or public WiFi? Will you be safe? How will you know if a device in your Internet of Things has been compromised and how do you remediate, especially when the device may not be on site. Core Security has recently published a white paper on this topic titled, “How to Secure the Internet of Things: Security requirements for a new securing-the-iottechnology stack”. In this paper we outline: - What is the Internet of Things and why does it matter? - The new IoT technology stack - Security Risks Inherent to the IoT - Security Measures and Challenges for the IoT - The role of service providers - Adopting a new mindset for dealing with the IoT For more information click here for a demo of Network Insight or download our eBook "How to Secure the Internet of Things".

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