The opportunity of the Internet of Things connecting millions of devices to drive efficiency, sustainability, and enhance operations is massive, but it doesn’t come without its challenges or its risks. Kaleido Intelligence recently released global survey results that indicate the top three factors that influence cellular IoT deployment, according to respondents. At the top of that list is end-to-end security.
As market for IoT broadens, so does the threat landscape. According to the IBM X-Force Intelligence Index 2022, the number of vulnerabilities related to IoT raised by 16 percent year over year. Ransomware, data theft, phishing, DDoS, and many more attempts that attack the end-user, network, and – ever-increasingly – the cloud, can make it a concern to connect vital operations to the internet.
One comprehensive method of creating end-to-end security is through security by design. Beginning with threat modelling, the data flow and entry points are identified, and then security measures are built that address any of those vulnerabilities. This allows IT professionals the ability to identify, document, score, and plan for those attack vectors.
For each layer that is added to the technology stack, this threat modelling approach can be enacted. That way, as the ecosystem spreads upwards and outwards, security is built alongside, which is a much simpler process than trying to secure after the IoT infrastructure has already been built.
Endpoint devices can compromise the entire stack if breached, and in IoT, this is particularly a concern for a few reasons. First, IoT deployments can be widespread and enormous, which makes monitoring devices that much more difficult. In devices that are embedded, underground, or in numbers of hundreds or thousands, it can be harder to keep track of usage or whether a device has had its SIM card removed or hijacked.
Secondly, IoT devices are not regulated with any security measures at the OEM level. Whether a device is built with additional security or even programmed to not use a default password is up to the discretion of the OEM. This concern can lead to devices rolling off the manufacturing floor into implementation of IoT without going through proper steps to secure it.
This portion of the IoT ecosystem is charged with processing data before it’s stored – whether that’s in a data centre or the cloud, and whether those are public, private, or hybrid.
Whether a deployment uses cellular, Wi-Fi, non-cellular, or satellite networks to communicate data, this crucial part of the IoT system and are also at risk. A secured network for data communications is highly recommended, and usually through a VPN.
The role of a VPN aids in the need for data encryption, as well. Many IoT solutions are collecting and processing sensitive or important data, which makes encryption both at rest and in-transit important. This should not be a part of securing the IoT stack that should be overlooked. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the network can lead to the installation of malware, which can flood usage and sometimes even shut down devices.
KORE offers a strategic approach to security that begins with a comprehensive strategy that builds security from the onset of an IoT deployment and with the flexibility to scale and the ability to be managed remotely for important troubleshooting, security patches, and software updates.
Want to learn more? Download this eBook to see how KORE can offer a simplified approach to strong IoT security.
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