4 Steps to Creating an IoT Security Strategy

IoT security must be prioritized in order for devices to deliver promised benefits.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is creating new ways for enterprises to gather information for analysis with the potential to improve processes and services. From better health care to reduced manufacturing costs, there is a lot of potential for IoT devices to deliver important benefits. Along with ensuring that these devices deliver what they promise, IoT security must be prioritized to protect the broader enterprise.

IoT devices are equipped with sensors that gather data and transmit it to an application that then analyzes it. This sounds relatively simple, but introducing a fleet of 100 new devices not only adds 100 endpoints onto the enterprise security plane, but it also adds vulnerabilities in its transmission to and from cloud solutions, multiplying the number of access points and complicating security concerns.

IoT security strategies are implemented with the assumption that the IoT device is performing. The added security risk may be manageable in light of important gains in areas including production times or efficiency in monitoring. For the health care industry, the addition of IoT devices may be life-saving or provide data that improves future care and outcomes for patients.

In order to create an environment in which IoT devices are delivering benefits without increasing the risk of a breach, enterprises must include four important steps in an IoT security strategy:

Automated Discovery and Classification: IoT devices are not designed to be strong in networking or with their own security features. There are new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools that can automate the discovery and classification of devices.

Establish Baseline IoT Behaviors: Understanding what normal IoT behavior looks like helps you identify anomalies. AI tools have algorithms that allow you to analyze network traffic and examine data transmissions to establish what constitutes an anomaly. You can also use this type of monitoring for assessing when IoT device performance is lagging or when a certain device classification is hogging too much bandwidth.

Identify Anomalies: When a device begins talking to a system that it shouldn’t have access to, or when it is showing up on an internal network, you’ll be alerted to the anomaly. You have already established a baseline to determine what baseline behavior is, so you’ll quickly register when an IoT device is behaving unusually.

Enforce IoT Security: It’s not enough just to identify the anomaly. You’ll need to take action to quarantine the device. This means application programming interfaces (APIs) that have existing security tools such as firewalls, authentication, and network access control.If you are currently weighing the anticipated benefits of introducing a fleet of IoT devices versus the security vulnerabilities that such a strategy would introduce, contact us at Compass Solutions. With the right IoT security tools in place, smart devices can introduce new levels of efficiency and informed decision-making for your enterprise.

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