Tips to Safeguard Your Connected Devices with IoT Security Solutions

A report from Gartner states that in the year 2016, cybercriminals originated distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks.

Internet of things

During DDoS attacks, hackers exploited possible bottlenecks and security weaknesses such as common weakness enumeration (CWE) in IoT devices. It enabled them in hijacking the devices and turn them into the originators of domain name system (DNS) requests. The primary aim was to direct the real-time traffic to the DNS hosting provider by the name of Dyn, headquartered in the United States. The DDoS attacks afflicted companies like Twitter, Amazon and Netflix and caused them a huge loss of revenue.

To prevent IoT devices from such cyber-attacks, enterprises must convoy them with IoT security solutions. Before investing, they need to apprehend ways to receive high ROI. Therefore, here are tips to enable businesses in leveraging adequate IoT security solution:

Set up a baseline for the data

IoT devices generate tons of data about their location, workload and performance. Managing such a significant amount of data without its prior standardization hardens the administration’s work. In fact, not discerning what type of data is critical for the organization that needs fortification wastes time and resources, as organizations have to perform redundant and repetitive actions on the entire data centers.

Constituting a baseline is an integral part of IoT security solution as it makes enterprises resilient to unforeseen data breaches.

Use Standard Protocols

Once an organization sets the baseline, it must introduce standard protocols and algorithms to create interoperability in the IoT environment. Using “security through obscurity” approach is unsuitable for IoT ecosystem as non-standard protocols are hard to understand.

Enterprises should primarily focus on using traditional IoT communication protocols and algorithms. It enables all the players to contribute to vulnerabilities as they are more likely to understand the system. In case of non-standard algorithms, most of them may not have the convenience to learn during emergencies. It may create disruptions in a team that is driven by principles of collaboration, cooperation and interaction.

Introduce Data encryption

There should be end-to-end data encryption for keeping the data confidential. Organizations must use protocols like Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS), media access control security (MACsec) and datagram transport layer security (DTLS).

Data encryption is crucial for authentication purposes. One of the ways to initiate it is by using public and private key concepts. It involves the use of asymmetric cryptography using an algorithm like elliptic curve digital signature algorithm (ECDSA).

When an organization uses cryptography based on the public key, the access to public key infrastructure (PKI) becomes compulsory. As PKI comprises of the one chip key that works on random numbers, signature verification and signing. It also includes the facility for encryption and decryption.

These features make PKI secure and capable of providing high-level data encryption.

Bad password causes cyberattacks

photo credit: Juan J Martinez / Flickr

Change the default password

When an organization purchases an IoT device, it gets default login credentials to connect the device to the internet. The manufacturing industry sets up the password, and it mostly mentions the password in the support documentation. It makes the password weak and vulnerable. Therefore, an organization must change the password to a strong password that has characters in both lower and upper case as well as special characters (#, % and $). It should also avoid using dictionary words and use the combination of uncommon words, numbers and special characters.

Appoint the suitable security partner

For better security of the IoT infrastructure, the organization must choose the right security vendor. The service provider must know the nature, objective and scope of the business. It should be fully devoted all through the value chain and understand the importance of integrity and protection of the IoT infrastructure. Lastly, the partner should cover all the four essential components (secure connections, device authentication, secure storage and secure code execution) of the system.

IoT security solutions are incomplete without the complete coverage of all the security pillars.

Conclusion

IoT security is essential to withstand the emerging cyber-attacks. An organization must baseline its security needs, use standardized protocols and encrypt the data. It should also keep the password dynamic and choose the right IoT security service provider.

Following all the tips mentioned above helps organizations in using IoT devices with utmost ease and maximum efficiency.

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