Best Practices to Safeguard Your IoT Project

As processes become more digitized, this increases the avenues for bad actors to cause significant harm your company. Here is Michael Becker, founder of Identity Praxis to share his thoughts and we outline some best IoT security practices that you can consider when developing your current or future IoT project(s).

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1. Availability & Visibility 

The basic requirement for every IoT product suite is the continuous availability and visibility of data. These updates on device health and users are a key components to effective cybersecurity and monitoring. It allows you to deal with rogue or compromised devices immediately before it affects other system components. 

Visibility also ensures that older devices can be removed prior to becoming ghost devices (old, unused, or hidden devices). The main problem with out-of-date software and legacy hardware associated with ghost devices is that once they pass their end-of-life cycle, the vendor no longer maintains or supports the products, resulting in security vulnerabilities and risk to organizations.

2. Authenticity  

Other than 24/7 transmissibility, data reliability and verification of devices in both directions is also vital. In the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), there is rising concern surrounding authenticity of data. Sophisticated hackers are able to utilize methods to impersonate and tamper with data, potentially causing cascading failure across your enterprise. 

To maintain airtight IoT security, you need a reliable computing base and that functions as the root of trust and is tamper proof. A root of trust holds your cryptographic keys and secures communication with the network and other channels, making it intrinsically secure. Cryptographic keys are also randomized and unique across different devices. If one device is compromise, all other devices will still remain safe.

3. Security 

One way to verify service integrity is implementing security by design, where products and capabilities are designed from the get-go to be foundationally secure. Security is also a continual process, requiring you to patch and update systems as technology evolves.  

Should a cyberattack occur, it is just as important to understand how your business is going to respond and recover. It is natural to focus on technology and systems but recovering should extend to your customers. That’s why creating a plan is so important. You want to make sure you can respond quickly and have the right outcomes for your business priorities. 

4. Privacy 

The EU’s expanding General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States are just the tip of the iceberg surrounding a slew of upcoming global data privacy and cybersecurity regulations.  

You may be subject to varying levels of privacy and IoT security regulations, if devices are deployed across different countries or regions. Non-compliance may result in hefty penalties and sanctions. It is essential to pick an ecosystem partner that can help you navigate the complex data privacy and cybersecurity landscape. 

5. Longevity  

Long term planning for an IoT project can be like looking into a crystal ball, attempting to anticipate unexpected events. Even so, be mindful of the life cycle surrounding all your technologies. For instance, there’s the danger of 2G sunsetting, rending devices that are reliant on the technology, completely obsolete.  

The added benefit to this is your IoT solution should also be flexible and customizable throughout the entire life cycle of the device. Imagine facing a sudden influx of data during peak EV charging times, or if you had to ship your EV chargers to different countries around the world? Your connectivity solutions should be able to seamlessly connect and transmit securely, regardless of where your deployment is. 

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