IoT has become a common term in the world of technology. While consumer products bring IoT to everyday life with a range of smart home gadgets, the IoT ecosystem has a strong foothold in other areas, including the industrial sector and smart cities. According to a report from Statista, the global IoT market for end-user solutions is currently expected to grow to USD 418 billion by 2021.
Global IoT market end-user solutions to grow by USD 418 Bn by 2021 [Image Source: Statista]
With newer technology such as 5G networks coming into play, the number of IoT devices is increasing evidently as Juniper reportedly estimates 50 billion IoT devices by 2022. Some of the promising and noteworthy IoT devices across industries include -
Home security systems
Home security systems using cellular connectivity that offers users complete access and control over their home security system.
Self-driving tractors are leading the march in bringing smart devices to the agriculture industry.
Smart lighting systems help with both automation and for being a source of clean energy by leveraging cellular technology such as NB-IoT and other 5G compatible connectivity infrastructure.
Smart robotics using connected sensors for predictive maintenance across continents to help assist in maintaining the heavy-duty machinery in multi-location factories
As IoT spearheads the technology advancements globally, the question of security takes center stage. While IoT is still maturing, the need for security is here now and needs more emphasis due to the rise in security breaches and threats. Consequently, IoT security can no longer be a luxury and must become a primary feature. Players in the IoT segment must consider security as a component of their offerings and not as an add-on.
Security - a driving factor for IoT devices
Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) relies primarily on the transfer of data between devices. As these devices ‘interact’, companies must give equal importance to security as the product features itself. IoT security combines both physical device and network security, protecting from all types of vulnerabilities right from communication attack, software attack, lifecycle attack, and even physical attack.
With the growing demand for IoT devices, industry experts and tech enthusiasts are increasingly concerned about the increasing challenges around these devices, particularly issues or threats related to security. Research conducted by 451 Research Group shows that 55% of IT professionals cite IoT security as the primary concern. The magnitude of the industry, combined with the array of industry players competing for the top spot, has grappled the IoT industry with two primary challenges.
- Lack of knowledge or awareness related to security and its repercussions among consumers
- Cyberattacks due to absence or improper end-to-end network security for data transfer
Enterprise IoT Security
According to marketsandmarkets.com report, the global IoT security market is expected to grow to USD 36.6 billion by 2025 due to key driving factors including concern over critical infrastructure, a ransomware attack on devices, data risk in IoT networks, and dynamic IoT security regulations. It is interesting to note that the energy and utility sector held a primary share in the IoT security market industry in 2018 and is likely to continue the trend thanks to the growing penetration of IoT devices in household appliances. While the global IoT security market covers five regions, namely North America, Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America, North America holds the highest market share in the IoT security market due to the early adoption of technology and the opportunity for high-security spending. Nonetheless, several key players worldwide, such as Cisco, IBM, Infineon, Intel, and Symantec, spread around the globe, contribute as some of the major vendors to the market.
Best practices to mitigate security issues
Practices related to securing IoT devices are highly dependent on the IoT applications and the ecosystem. However, there are a few underlying practices that are applicable across industries and users. According to industry experts, adopting these best practices can help IoT device users and businesses to mitigate security issues better:
- Implement more robust cybersecurity hygiene among employees to avoid shadow IoT devices. Organizations must refuse unauthorized devices to access enterprise data to reduce the risk of a data vulnerability that can impact the organization’s entire network.
- Create a robust testing framework to protect the security of the IoT hardware. The framework should include intensive testing measures to check IoT devices' range, capacity, and latency while extending the testing range to third-party components and modules.
- Leverage AI to automate sections of security solutions to detect anomalies in the IoT device traffic data. These AI tools can complement other security protocols to minimize human interventions.
- Encrypt data with standard cryptographic algorithms to ensure the privacy of users. Data encryption at both rest and in-transit will help prevent IoT data breaches. Besides encryption, device authentication such as two-factor authentication, biometrics can monitor the logins into the system.
- Create an exit plan in case of IoT security threats and breaches. As the technology is emerging, companies must have a data contingency plan to secure maximum data in case of a data breach.
Future of security
Due to the IoT industry's growth potential, several players are investing their resources in strengthening the security aspect of all IoT deployments. Notably, four different measures are considered vital to the future of IoT. They are -
- Education will also play a vital role in the world of IoT. Makers of IoT devices, ISPs, and the government must have an active role in creating awareness about IoT security among consumers and businesses. The government should focus on the digital literacy of policymakers.
- Stringent regulation and standardization should be mandated to ensure that IoT devices across industries adhere to a specific security level. These regulations must also extend to manufacturers to develop conclusive privacy policies for their IoT devices while ensuring that consumers know how to adjust the security settings.
- Blockchain technology could be one of the significant contributors to security measures in the world of IoT. With a unified effort from all major parties, Blockchain could help with IoT technology's evolution that benefits consumers and businesses and secures all users from hackers.
Citing Joy Akurienne Coker from the article “You are violating my privacy”, which talks about the pressing need for policymaking in IoT security - “The only way to protect privacy and avoid liability is for companies to make sure there is a legal basis for any data collection, storage, sale, and transfer. Every business must now view privacy as a human and civil right.”
Cavli and IoT Security
With a stringent emphasis on security for connectivity and data management powered by GSMA SAS certified RSP based on ARM technology, Cavli Hubble is a global IoT connectivity management cloud platform with Device and Data management capability that enables businesses and industries to build and deploy easily scalable, reliable and secure global-wireless IoT solutions. Cavli Hubble uses GSMA SGP.02 Version 3.2 SAS certified remote subscription management platform that ensures secure onboarding, provisioning, over-the-air updates, and life-cycle management best-in-class security to mitigate device vulnerabilities. Using Trusted TLS security communication, Cavli's data agreements with telecom operators worldwide enable companies to engage in massive IoT deployments and ensure device and data trust. The key objective of Cavli Hubble is to give control over millions of connected devices through easy integration with our Platform Security Architecture (PSA) that guarantees security from the device to the data and throughout the journey.