The Importance of Security by Design for IoT Devices

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The Importance of Security by Design for IoT Devices

We’re on the verge of an explosion of IoT-related products and services and the security for IoT devices is a concern. We all know that the Internet of Things or IoT has started to disrupt consumers, enterprises and governments and is paving the way of an analytical revolution. From connected homes and self-driving cars, from smart toasters to smart buildings, soon, we will all be able to connect to any device and control every aspect of life.

According to American research and advisory firm Gartner, there will be 25 billion Internet-connected things by 2020, and close to $2 trillion of economic benefit globally. That’s a lot of IoT devices and the biggest question is, can tech companies secure all these objects from threats?

Why IoT security is important?

IoT security is important because it is the backbone of the internet. IoT devices are connected to each other and they are all connected to the internet. This means that if someone hacks into one of these devices, they can hack into all of them. IoT security protects our privacy and data, and it also helps protect our homes. The need of IoT security is achieved by using different methods like encryption, authentication, authorization, etc

As we slowly see IoT becoming mainstream, with companies like Google, Cisco, IBM, Intel, and others leading the revolution, IoT will soon change the way we live, work, travel, and more.

And while this IoT explosion will offer a wide range of opportunities for manufacturer and consumers, it also poses major security risks in smart factories. As more devices get interconnected, securing them all will be the biggest challenge. Hardware, software and connectivity will all need to be secure for IoT objects to work effectively. Without security for IoT, any connected object, from refrigerators to manufacturing bots, can be hacked. Once hackers gain control, they can usurp the object’s functionality and steal the user’s digital data. Also, securing Industrial IoT should not be neglected.

So how does one secure IoT devices?…The answer is Security BDesign

Security by design is an approach to software and hardware development where security is built in from the beginning, and not as a late addition after a hacking incident. The need for security by design has become crucial as tech companies continue to churn out a myriad of IoT objects for consumers and enterprises. These Internet of Things devices, since they’re all connected to the Internet, are vulnerable to remote hacking. Also, most of these objects were designed with no security built into their system, making them easy targets for security breaches.

In her 2015 CES speech about Security and Policy, Edith Ramirez, former Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, shared three steps that companies should take to enhance consumer privacy and security and thereby build consumer trust in IoT devices:

Adopt security by design

This mean every Internet of Things design should start with security. Giant tech firms as well as startups should incorporate multiple types of IoT security into the initial design process.

Engage in data minimization

To avoid security breaches, IoT manufacturers should employ different approaches to protect the device from being accessed by anyone through the Internet.

Increase transparency and provide consumers with notice and choice for unexpected data uses

IoT manufacturers should provide consumers with notice about how their data is used and shared, and then offer tools that will allow consumers to turn off certain types of information collection and sharing. They should also educate consumers about end-users’ security so everyone can avoid making risky behaviors while using their IoT device.

More about Top Internet of Things Research Frontiers Topics of the Leaders

FAQs about Security for IoT Devices

How do I secure my IoT device?

Secure your IoT device by changing default passwords, keeping firmware up-to-date, using strong encryption, configuring proper network settings, disabling unnecessary features, and regularly monitoring for unusual activity.

What are the three types of IoT security?

The three types of IoT security are: 1. Device Security (protecting the physical device and its components), 2. Network Security (securing the communication channels between devices and networks), and 3. Data Security (ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of data transmitted and stored by IoT devices).

Are there security standards for IoT devices?

Yes, there are security standards for IoT devices. Organizations like the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) have developed guidelines and frameworks to establish best practices for IoT security.

What is IoT security – 6 ways to protect your devices?

Protecting your IoT devices involves six key strategies: 1. Change Default Passwords, 2. Regularly Update Firmware and Software, 3. Use Encryption for Data Transmission, 4. Segment Networks and Implement Firewalls, 5. Monitor Device Activity for Anomalies, and 6. Disable Unnecessary Features and Services. These measures collectively enhance the security of your IoT ecosystem.

Roland AtouiThis article was written by Roland Atoui, Managing Director & Founder of Red Alert Labs, expert in Information Security and Certification with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. From smart cards to smart phones to smart manufacturing, Roland is a new technology enthusiast with a current mission to bring trust to the Internet of Things. Originally the article was published here