The one area where a number of exploits is exploding, is the rapidly growing IoT market. Security in designing these systems many times tends to be an afterthought, but in case of IoT, there are a number of considerations including access security (authentication), data security (encryption and security analytics (policy based controls).
The Internet of Things relies on the connectivity of devices through the internet to gather and centralize data for use in analytics or to expose data to a user. This introduction of internet to access devices makes them an easy target at many levels – The Data Center (Public or private cloud), The Gateways (intermediary communication gateways and Endpoint devices (Distributed IoT devices.)
Authentication plays an important role in the IoT ecosystem. It provides access controls that determine what each user can and cannot do in the system. An IoT device can authenticate and connect to a gateway to transfer data or to update firmware or configuration.
Whenever two entities are authenticated, they can exchange information. If attackers can access an IoT gateway, the data on that connection is compromised. Data security is hence essential and data encryption is commonly the right way to do it. The solution to both access and data security is Publc Key Infrastructure (PKI).
Monitoring massive numbers of IoT devices is not an easy task. Security analytics is multidimensional analysis of an IoT ecosystem. It monitors everything from the IoT device to the gateways to the cloud with minimal human intervention.
Even with all the glitches and loopholes, IoT is here to stay. In fact, it is getting smarter by the day and is scaling from smart homes to smart cities.
The evolution of internet from a simple connection of computers using standard protocols to today’s massive interconnection of devices brings a wide spectrum of possibilities and opportunities. It also brings a wide set of problems and security concerns. The IoT ecosystems need to incorporate security as the key design element – and not as an afterthought as these devices need active management based on the analytics to ensure that their operations are glitch-less.