Connected is expected: IoT security is crucial

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IoT applications and services started out as a novelty – think LG’s Electronics internet-enabled fridge in early 2000 -but over the last few years IoT has increasingly become part of modern life. People around the globe have come to rely on IoT to control their home, ensure efficient power usage, control the lights, and provide home security. 

IoT is powering industry

Homeowners aren’t the only ones who have found that being connected is expected: industry and businesses are also increasingly relying on IoT as a key component of their operations. Water companies have deployed remote sensors and IoT controlled valves to ensure efficient supply. Farmers are using IoT to track livestock monitor agricultural inputs and yield. Construction sites are increasingly harnessing the abilities of IoT to both track equipment usage and plan maintenance, as well as ensure the safety of workers, with environmental monitors and remote alarm systems.

Public transport systems rely on IoT to ensure smooth operation, both in terms of schedule updates to users and to enable the predictive maintenance of vehicles. All of these areas have one thing in common: For devices to be connected has become expected. Just as we expect friends and family to be contactable on their mobile devices, we are increasingly relying on the connectivity of devices to enable our daily lives.

Securing connections

The need for IoT to be securely connected has some pretty big implications. For the novelty appliances of the early days, if the connectivity failed, or if the security of the device was breached, the implications were limited. For the vast majority of IoT devices this is no longer the case. A failure in connectivity or security will have big and costly implications.

An interrupted water supply, an avoidable construction accident, or a cities transport infrastructure in chaos -connectivity & security of IoT devices is fundamental to their operation. Often connectivity was something that was put in place and forgotten.

Organizations now need to revisit both existing connectivity and future planned services and ask these questions:

Is my connectivity resilient, or am I dependent on a single network or service?

How will I manage IoT connectivity over the 10-20 year life span of a device?

Can I see at any time which of my devices are connected and by what means?

Do I know that my IoT devices can and are only communicating with the intended systems?

In order to secure the future, IoT must secure the present. 

John Candish
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John Candish

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