Mar 18, 2016 11:12:22 AM
Why is IoT Security So Critical?
IoT Security: the area of the information security industry aimed at securing devices, data, people and applications within the Internet of things (IoT).


What makes IoT Security so important? The growth of internet-connected data, devices, applications and users has exploded exponentially. IoT is carrying over into such a wide array of products and services: mobile devices, wearables, medical devices; everything under the sun can now be connected to the internet.

With so many organizations offering internet-connected products and services, an equal effort should be made to prevent unauthorized access or data breaches via IoT devices. Simply put, with an IoT device comes the risk of malicious actors taking command of internet-connected controls. Given the risk of compromising customer data or access to private systems, the effort to secure IoT devices is as important as making IoT devices available for use.

It’s a well-known fact within the information security industry that hackers are getting more sophisticated every day, finding new and unique ways to exploit security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, in some cases, it’s becoming less expensive to exploit security vulnerabilities. While hackers are becoming more skilled, corporations are increasing IoT-related activity, providing more opportunities for exploitation. There are countless internet-facing devices on the market today that connect and share sensitive data, but have rudimentary security controls, such as a solitary password authentication. Given the risk-laden environment of IoT today, a single password is no longer sufficient for authentication. Multiple layers of identity authentication across a user, device application and data need to be in place to adequately mitigate risk and prevent breaches.

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Fundamentally, the main contributors to the importance of IoT security can be condensed into two key considerations:

  • The growth of internet-connected devices, more devices=more vulnerabilities. 

The massive volume of sensitive data that is being transmitted and sits at rest is at risk, period. There is so much more data for hackers to access today that needs to be protected, not to mention the amount of federally regulated security audits all organizations dealing with sensitive data must be compliant with.

  • Not all devices and applications are built with security in mind, which increases the number of attack vectors and potential targets for hackers.

A legion of businesses have jumped on the opportunities made abundant by IoT; some swiftly, and without concern for security. Launching IoT products and services, whether for consumers or other businesses, put participating organizations at risk if they’re not properly secured. The consequences? Unauthorized access, an outage and irreparable damage to a business’ reputation, for starters.

The ever-increasing number of industry and government-mandated security regulations, plus the evolution of the hacker make the world of the IoT fast-paced, swiftly growing, and dangerous, if not managed with care. In order for businesses to stay on top of the everlasting game of whack-a-mole, being proactive about security is a must.

Whether your organization has an IoT product or service in the market that needs to be secured, or is currently in the development stages of a new product or service, getting in touch with a team of knowledgeable security experts to assess your security posture is a necessary step toward mitigating risk and preventing breaches.

 

 Speak to an IoT Identity & Access Management Expert