Personal tools

IoT Security, Standards and Challenges

[Harvard University]

- Overview

The Internet of Things (IoT) is broadly defined as devices other than computers that can connect to the Internet. Today, Internet of Things (IoT) devices are everywhere, showing their popularity and growth, that includes everything from printers to FitBits, thermostats, and more. While these devices increase productivity and efficiency, their security posture is poor.

IoT devices often perform a series of tasks that collect, exchange, process, and react to data. This exposes them to security concerns related to the vulnerabilities encountered by IoT devices. To give a real-life example, in October 2016, a DDoS attack caused infected IoT devices to overload domain registration services.


- IoT Security

Internet of Things (IoT) adoption has quickly become a business enabler, but it has also created new security challenges for networking and security teams alike. Traditional network perimeter defenses and traditional processes simply cannot address emerging IoT security concerns. 

So far, IoT products and services have exploded. Today, IoT devices account for more than 30 percent of all connected enterprise endpoints. People are surrounded by IoT devices, such as IoT cars, smart refrigerators and other smart home products, exchanging data through connected sensors. There are even smart machines now, networked across industries from manufacturing to retail. 

These connected devices are ubiquitous, and the amount of data transferred will only continue to increase. However, this huge growth has been accompanied by its share of cyber threats. Whether it's as big as making a robot or as small as an electronic chip -- without security measures, every IoT device can be hacked. 

With digital transformation driving the proliferation of unmanaged devices in industrial environments, having a robust IoT security plan in place is critical to protecting critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

Therefore, to protect the IoT ecosystem, organizations need a deep understanding of IoT cybersecurity, its challenges, and strategies for mitigating risk. Not only does this protect the business from threats, it also helps build confidence in the digital transformation process.


- The Role of 5G in IoT Security

With 5G networks, it’s not just a matter of doing more, faster. It’s also about fundamentally changing the opportunity set of what’s possible in the first place. Common examples of innovations cited as particularly benefiting from 5G technology include autonomous vehicles and remote surgery. With 5G technology, autonomous vehicles will be able to connect in real-time with each other, thereby solving problems like traffic management on the fly. With 5G technology, a surgeon in New York City would be able to advise on tests, scans and medical procedures anywhere in the world, in real-time.

Plus, at the same time, the number of connected devices is set to explode exponentially over the next few years. According to Statista, there will be 75 billion connected devices by 2025. Just by sheer numbers alone, that radically changes the potential attack surface for hackers. With so many devices connected to each other via a vast, invisible wireless mesh, it will put a premium on security tools specifically formulated for 5G security. And it will make device security paramount. By 2025, hackers will have their choice of 75 billion “weak links” in a security chain. If you thought that today’s botnet attacks are a scourge for IoT security, just imagine what will be possible in a few years. Not only will hackers be able to take down infrastructure and energy grids, but also they will be able to hack medical devices and bring a network of connected cars to a literal standstill.


- IoT Security Concerns Growing as 5G Networks Begin to Roll Out

IoT security is the technology area concerned with safeguarding connected devices and networks in the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT involves adding Internet connectivity to a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals and/or people. Each "thing" is provided a unique identifier and the ability to automatically transfer data over a network. Allowing devices to connect to the Internet opens them up to a number of serious vulnerabilities if they are not properly protected. With a staggering majority of devices – expected to reach more than 75 billion by 2025 – connected to vast networks and the Internet, reducing cyber risk becomes a critical focal point for the age of IoT.

IoT security is a growing concern. Your connected devices are data collectors. The personal information collected and stored with these devices - such as your name, age, health data, location and more - can aid criminals in stealing your identity. At the same time, the Internet of Things (IoT)  is a growing trend, with a stream of new products hitting the market. 

But here’s the problem: When you’re connected to everything, there are more ways to access your information. That can make you an attractive target for people who want to make a profit off of your personal data. Every connected device you own can add another privacy concern, especially since most of them connect to your smartphone. 



[More to come ...]







Document Actions