You have probably seen the recent global headlines of companies being hacked, being forced to pay ransom for accessing their systems, incur operational downtime, deal with compromised customer data, and not to mention, diminished trust for the company’s brand.
By 2026, an estimated 26 billion IoT devices will be in use – among them, 5 billion IoT devices use cellular connectivity. IoT devices are becoming ubiquitous, ranging from smart tracking devices and sensors to more advanced use cases of security cameras, drones, and connected cars. But, unfortunately, this also means more points of potential security attacks.
Are enterprises prepared to dive into a complex IoT security system, implement and manage it, scale, and stay ahead of the competition?
Findings from a recent Ericsson and Orange Business Services report, ”Getting IoT Security Right: A CXO Survival Guide”, outline the IoT security landscape and provide practical recommendations of how enterprises can successfully tackle IoT security challenges. With cellular technology as a backdrop, there are already security features built into this technology. Cellular IoT has the strength of leveraging SIM as the root of trust, as well as security standards designed into 4G and 5G networks by the 3GPP.
Do your IoT homework first
IoT security decision makers need to do their homework and realize that IT security is not the same as IoT security. Connecting hundreds, thousands, or millions of IoT devices has different security requirements as there are more than end points at risk. Network-based security solutions provide threat monitoring and mitigation capabilities to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks happening in the first place. Knowing your IoT devices and the IoT ecosystem, how devices connect to the network, and how they work can help evaluate your security needs. Having an integration roadmap in place is also necessary. Focusing on preventing attacks equips decision makers with the background needed to select the right IoT security solution.
8 top recommendations from security experts
The sheer variety and scope of IoT use cases make investing in an appropriate security solution challenging. Still, in general, Ericsson and Orange Business Services provide eight critical recommendations that enterprises should examine regardless of the specific use case to take control of IoT security and accelerate deployment:
1. Scope the level of preventative protection needed
Secure does not mean “unhackable,” so identifying the degree of protection required implies understanding where your devices connect and how fast the IoT security solution must detect to prevent breaches. If real-time communications are essential, then the security solution should mitigate and manage threats as close to real-time as possible.
2. Optimize threat detection capabilities
Today, some IoT security solutions have capabilities in the device, some have nothing in the device, some can add capabilities in the device, or the capabilities reside in the cloud end points. Optimizing detection capabilities at every potential threat point minimizes unwanted breaches.
3. Leverage automated responses for cyber incidents
Putting automated responses to work for you can save the cost and time of manual procedures, which might take hours, days, or weeks to remedy. In addition, automation can speed up response times, and a robust IoT security solution should provide this service.
4. Gauge a holistic perspective of the solution costs – from deployment to lifecycle management
A security-first strategy is a competitive differentiator and an investment well made when assessing the financial impact on potential damage to business revenues and operations. Again, this points back to evaluating the level of prevention required. This includes weighing the trade-offs of how much an enterprise is willing to pay for the solution throughout the solution’s “lifetime” from deployment, maintenance to upgrades.
5. Ensure usability for end-users
As many enterprises are shifting to integrated and automated processes and systems, they might not have a dedicated team nor a Security Operations Center (SOC) equipped to manage the IoT security solution. Therefore, searching for a user-friendly solution will lower the barrier to implement and manage the solution.
6. Take advantage of enhanced visibility
Having a single view dashboard is a handy feature for an enterprise security team to see everything going on in one place and act quickly. For managed security solutions, visibility can be enhanced further by the service provider’s own security operations, which offers expertise, 24/7 support, timely solution updates, and an extra set of eyes to accompany the customer throughout the product lifecycle.
7. Harness evolutionary capabilities
In the future, automating security management processes with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will be essential to not only increasing efficiency and productivity but simply enabling enterprise security teams to keep up with an increasingly complex task. For example, AI and ML can provide clear visibility of network conditions on a dashboard to display the potential risks that are out there and automatically deal with those risks before they become a problem.
8. Plan for scalability and flexibility
As the enterprise business grows and scales, and more devices are connected, the security solution needs to adapt, scale, and be flexible. Partnering with a solution provider also helps to get IoT security right from the start. In addition, a combination of an embedded IoT security solution within a global connectivity solution provides additional flexibility and integration for enterprises.
Dive into the detail of the 8 recommendations and read more about IoT security in connected cars, Industry 4.0, and smart cities here.
Download the whitepaper and dive into the detail of the 8 recommendations and read more about IoT security in connected cars, Industry 4.0, and smart cities here.
Register for a dedicated webinar, “Demystifying IoT Security,” on October 26, 20201, describing how IoT security is different from IT security. Security experts will present the risk assessments, business opportunities and selection criteria for the right security solution.