Security on the Internet of Things: What You Need to Know

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is currently one of the fastest growing trends in the digital technology market. Put simply, IoT describes a vast network of interconnected smart devices. These devices include phones, autonomous cars, home appliances, and industrial sensors, just to name a few. Smart technologies, including sophisticated sensors and chips, allow them to constantly gather and analyze data; an Internet connection makes it possible for them to instantly share these data with other similar devices.

This broad, extremely rapid flow of information from millions of different gadgets, appliances, and machines can provide huge benefits for both industries and individuals alike. For example, apps such as Google Maps or Waze, providing real-life traffic data along with GPS services, allow most of us to save hours every month on our commutes to and from work. A smart thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature in your house based on your daily routines, helping you save money on electricity bills. A smart fridge can even inform you when you’re about to run out of milk and advise you to buy some on your way back from work.

The comfort and convenience that the IoT provides, however, may come at a price. As with any network, the more extensive the IoT becomes, the more difficult it is to secure it. Hackers who manage to tap into the network can do a lot of harm to individual users and businesses. In this blog, we will analyze some of the security challenges related to the IoT. We will also provide some basic information about what you and your company can do to protect yourself from cyber-attacks targeting the Internet of Things.

Challenge 1: Device Computational Power

One of the biggest security issues related to IoT devices is related to one of their biggest design advantages – their size. Most of the smart appliances are small, which means they operate on a limited amount of storage, memory, and processing capability. How does this relate to security? Many network security technologies rely heavily on encryption. However, performing complicated encryption and decryption calculations is usually beyond the capacity of small IoT machines. Instead, they rely on simpler encryption mechanisms that can be easily breached by malicious agents.

Solution: Use multiple layers of defense

Multiple layers of defense, also called layered security, employs various network segments and firewalls. Of course, to safely configure your network in this way, you must consult IT security specialists.

Challenge 2: Authorization Issues

Before any device can access a network, it needs to pass an authentication and authorization process. However, many IoT devices rely on weak or default passwords that are easy to crack. By accessing a smart device, a hacker can gain access to the whole network.

Solution: Implement an IoT platform

An IoT Platform is a kind of software that can help you manage and control all of your smart devices with ease. The security advantage of this solution is that it allows you to introduce two-step verification technologies and even manage access privileges for any particular device. Thanks to that, even if a hacker manages to compromise the security of one device, they won’t be able to access data and resources used by other devices.

Challenge 3: Data Privacy Issues

Ensuring data privacy and integrity will be of special interest to you if your company deals in smart devices and IoT technologies. Why can it be a challenge? One problem is the sheer amount of data transferred between the devices in the network. Another is making sure that sensitive data is securely encrypted, stored, and then securely disposed of when it is no longer needed. In addition, compliance with recent legal changes related to gathering, processing, and storage of personal information may pose an additional challenge.

Solution: Clear Privacy Policies

Despite the rapid growth of the IoT technologies, data privacy concerns have not yet been properly addressed. Some suggest that new security technologies such as blockchain can provide a viable solution to the problem of ensuring data security and integrity. These technologies, however, haven’t been widely adopted yet. In the meantime, by developing clear and transparent privacy policies, companies give their customers an opportunity to make an informed choice with regards to how their sensitive data will be gathered, used, transmitted, and stored.

Get the Needed Expertise

This article presents only the basic security problems related to the IoT technologies. If you are an entrepreneur and your company offers IoT solutions, you may be facing some unique technological challenges and legal issues. If that’s the case and you need legal advice and expertise related to modern technologies such as the IoT, BRADFORD, LTD is here to help. With our assistance, your business will continue to thrive while you stay clear of liability. Contact us today to obtain more information about our services.

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