6 technologies you need to know to secure your IoT network

According to Gartner forecast, there are 8.4 billion internet-connected IoT devices in use currently and most new business systems and business processes will incorporate IoT. Ericsson Mobility report predicts that the number of IoT connected devices will reach 28 billion marks globally by 2021 and it would surpass the number of mobile devices.

Cisco estimates endorses that point as they predict that there would be 3.4 connected devices per person by 2020. All these statistics shows why IoT is the hottest emerging technology and it has a bright future ahead. Even businesses have started taking IoT seriously and are looking to maximize their efficiency by using internet of things. We might see a significant increase in investments in the field of internet of things.

See also: Vint Cerf sees big IoT security issues in our future

Every coin has two sides. Similarly, emerging technologies also have their drawbacks. One of the biggest downside of internet of things (IoT) is security and privacy because online privacy was never so exposed. Recent IoT breaches are a testament to that and many security professionals thinks that this trend will continue and we will see an increase in IoT attacks. In this article, you will learn about six technologies that will help you secure your IoT network.

#1: IoT Network Security

Unlike traditional networks, it is much more challenging to secure an IoT network. The reason is that there is wide range of communication protocols, standards and devices involved, which makes things more complex. Hackers will try to attack the network because it gives them the control of all the IoT devices in the network. Use antivirus, firewalls and other intrusion detection and prevention system to secure the IoT network and prevent any intrusion.

#2: Authentication

Another way to secure your IoT device from attacks is through authentication. Users have the options to go for simple authentication or complex and much more secure authentication in the form of two-way authentication, digital certificates and biometrics. Unlike traditional authentication methods, which require presence of human being, IoT authentication does not require human intervention for authentication purposes most of the time because it is mostly embedded sensors and machine-to-machine interaction in IoT. Therefore, you will have to go in with a different mindset when authenticating IoT devices.

#3: Encryption

Encrypting data in rest and data in motion will help you to maintain the integrity of your data and reduce the risk of data sniffing by hackers. Due to varying hardware profiles of different devices, no standard protocol and encryption that can be implemented across all IoT devices. This pose a big challenge when it comes to encrypting your IoT data as you will have to use a different encryption technique for every device. To matters even worse, encrypting IoT data requires efficient encryption key lifecycle management. Inefficient key management can make you more vulnerable to IoT security attacks and increases the risk of data breach. On the bright side, if you could encrypt your IoT data, then you can save it from attackers.

#4: Public key infrastructure

With varying hardware capabilities, some IoT devices might limit or prevent the use of public key infrastructure but that does not mean that it is not effective in securing your IoT network. It take advantage of complex digital certificates and cryptographic keys and offer extensive key lifecycle management capabilities including generation, distribution, management and revocation of public and private cryptographic keys. You can load these complex digital certificates into IoT devices that are enabled by third party public key infrastructure software, which enhances the security of communication between IoT devices. Manufacturers could also install these complex digital certificates after manufacturing.

#5: API security

Securing API is also critical to ensure that the data transmitted through end-point to back end system is only done by authorized persons. It will not only help you in making sure that authorized devices, developers and apps are using the API but also aids in detecting threats and attacks on APIs. According to Muneeb Qadar Siddiqui App developer at Branex, “App developers will have to be vigilant during app development process because any security flaws in APIs can wreck havoc on your IoT application.” App developers will have to make sure that their IoT app not only connects and performs concurrently but also secure their apps too. Keep an eye on specific threats against any API you are using take security measures to protect it.

#6: Security analytics

From collecting to aggregating data, from monitoring to normalizing data from IoT devices, you need a monitoring that provide you options for reporting as well. Security analytics act as a brilliant way to alert organizations about any malicious activities that might be taking place in the background and breaching the set policies. It takes full advantage of big data techniques, artificial intelligence and machine learning and let you predict anomaly detection, which goes a long way in reducing the number of false positives. There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that these security analytics could prove to be helpful in detecting IoT specific attacks and intrusions that goes under the radar of traditional network firewalls.

But no single magic bullet

It is important for businesses to balance the benefits that IoT devices can deliver with a recognition that the same IoT devices have become a soft target for hackers and cyber criminals who are looking to intrude into your IoT networks and get access to your confidential and sensitive information.  Remember that there is no single magic bullet to fix all IoT security issues. In order to protect your IoT networks from external attacks, you will have to use a combination of these technologies. Authentication and encryption is crucial and so does the measures to secure your network. Establishing an efficient public key infrastructure will help you manage the whole process from key generation to key revocation effectively. You will have to follow a proactive approach and make security a priority.

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