Cyber security 
 
 

The cyber risks awaiting IoT

The Internet of Things(IoT) is not something that has to come in the near future. Rather, it is something that is already here. In fact, it is growing at an increasing pace. Today, there are around 4.9 billion devices that are connected to each other. By 2020 however, it is expected that this number will reach 12 billion.

As a result of this maturation, the industry will be worth more than $6 trillion. According to a report published by the AT&T, around 5000 enterprises all over the globe are already deploying IoT devices, whereas around 85% of these enterprises are currently in the process, or at least, intend to do so in the near future. However, only about 10% of these enterprises are confident regarding the security of these devices.

‘How do we keep our devices secure?’, is a major question, and it is indeed quite an important one.

Since a greater number of businesses and consumers are making use of Internet of Things devices, there is an increasing number of cyber risks that are waiting for these devices. In order to protect these devices from security threats, a number of processes and specialized security solutions have specifically been developed for the Internet of Things devices.

In order to authenticate the origin and identity of each other, devices in the internet of things make use of digital certificates. Atop that, advanced cryptography is used in this process. These digital certificates are signed and issued only by reputable sources and are also referred to as Roof of Trust or the Certificate of Authority.

It is not possible to forge the cryptographic signatures that exist in the certificates for each device. Unless of course, one has the proper private key.

Are there any security risks being faced by the IoT industry?

While a big number of companies are exploring solutions regarding IoT, most of these companies are not employing security experts. As a result of this, the management of security complexities is a big problem and companies are unprepared for cyber attacks.

The biggest risk is that the device manufacturers and the security companies operate in two totally separate domains. The manufacturers of physical devices often manufacture them on a very large scale that includes millions of devices each year. Tight management of bills, inventory, and delivery are extremely important in order for them to remain very competitive. As a result of this, security can usually become limited as the costs have to be kept down along with shorter delivery times.

The security companies, on the other hand, happen to be large enterprises providing various solutions, with a group of staff that specializes in security. These companies may not have a product that is manufactured physically, however, they do have a big amount of data stored on their servers. This data needs to be protected at all costs.

This results in a big mismatch between the manufacturer’s needs, and the capabilities of a security company. This results in two parties talking over. Due to this prime reason, device security is often not properly implemented. The prime cause is a lack of guidance and awareness.

As a result of this, the device security is often ignored in order to meet the pressure of increased demand. This essentially leaves the devices connected to the Internet of Things at a big risk for cyber attacks, since many of them are not secure.

Phani Kumar S Phani Kumar S on January 1, 2019

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