The Internet of Things (IOT) refers to the interconnectivity amongst various sensors, devices and electronics, like physical objects, used to exchange data with the manufacturer or amongst devices connected within the network. Being a relatively new concept involving a huge amount of complexity, IOT faces serious security challenges, all of which require tackling from the entrepreneur’s level.
So Many Definitions!
The first challenge every entrepreneur faces is the lack of any proper definition for IOT, at least one with considerable accuracy. How you chose to define IOT for your company is different from that of other companies, making it even more difficult to incarnate a proper security method to safeguard IOT at all levels.
Although there is no clear-cut definition, there is a general pattern every IOT network follows. There have to be at least three things present: A network, a device, and a cloud service. This, in itself, is a complicated structure, with a hot load of security issues existing at each layer, every single one of which requires acute attention. Keep in mind, all this security, all this hard work, is to safeguard just one thing: data.
Securing Data: The Greatest Question
While suitable attention needs to be paid to both application and device levels, data level security occupies the foremost position in terms of significance. Brian Partridge of 451 Research says data must be protected on three layers. Here’s how:
- Confidentiality: Data, especially sensitive data, must remain accessible only to those who are authorized to access it, and should not fall under the hands of the wrong people (or bots).
- Integrity: The integrity of flowing data must be preserved. It should not be modified, accessed or spoofed by unauthorized sources.
- Authentication: The source of the data must be authentic, and its authenticity must be verified.
IoT makes current security firms outdated as it is constantly changing.
The Data Bank of Data
Data is lucid, constantly flowing, from one source to another, from one device to another. If you are a lay person, you probably believe that database, on the other hand, is a fixed concept, like a huge bank with loads of data in it. But the literal truth is, even databases are floating, moving and flowing like a liquid. It is this flow of data that needs to be secured, and for that we must increase security.
This wouldn’t be difficult, but mind you, security is not static, it is in constant motion! If the database were a castle, the first thing that needs to be secured is the gateways. In technical terms, gateways are proxies (or brokers) that manage data security on behalf of the various devices connected into the Internet of Things.
The prime target of a hacker, therefore, are these gateways, which is why they need additional security measures to preserve their integrity.
When asked if IOT should be avoided altogether for the sake of security protection, Partridge says no. The Internet of Things is the path to evolution, and it shall never be suppressed. What we must do, here, is to shift our focus from the mere security of applications and devices to the security of data flow and interactions. Partridge also says, however, that creating such advanced level security is not the work of the companies that stores and process this data, and this is where the security providers step in.
Security providers help make the process easy by ensuring complete protection of data while allowing you as an entrepreneur to concentrate on data processing and accumulation.
If the Internet of Things is indeed the future of data transfer, we may have to see a lot of huge paychecks being written for security companies. Of course, these companies too, have to level up their security service quality.