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IoT Checklist – Security Compliance

Cyberattacks have become commonplace over the past decade. In fact, in 2016, cybercrime cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion to $109 billion.

Popular instances of cybercrime such as the Dyn Cyberattack of 2016 (which rendered major Internet platforms and services to be rendered dysfunctional for parts of Europe and North America) and the Jeep Cherokee Hack of 2014 (in which hackers remotely took control of a jeep and destroyed it), are frightful examples of just how much damage cyber-attacks can have.

As such, regardless of which industry you belong to, it’s essential for all IoT devices to incorporate a strong IoT security framework to help prevent hacks and cyberattacks. A security breach has the potential of bringing entire corporations to a standstill, which can lead to a number of issues depending on the nature and severity of the breach. They can lead to massive losses in revenues, clients, and much more. According to a recent figure, cyberattacks cost U.S. enterprises $1.3 million on average in the year 2017, which is higher than the 2016 figure of $1.3 million.

In this article, we’ll give you all the reasons why an IoT security compliance is necessary and provide you with a checklist of how to go about it.

Importance of IoT Security Compliance

The following facts and figures will show you just how important IoT security compliance is:

• Studies show that 70% of IoT devices are vulnerable because they are connected to various other devices over non-secure platforms, which makes them easy to hack into

• There have been instances of patients who have died as a result of being given healthcare IoT devices by doctors that have been hacked into

• Hackers can now take control of physical devices like cars that are connected to the network. This has the potential of leading to catastrophic damages to life and property

• Recently, Fiat Chrysler had to recall 8000 jeeps because of a hack

• In Ohio, a hacker reportedly took control of a baby monitor to spy on individuals in the house

• Some internet connected insulin Pumps are now also vulnerable to hacking if not properly designed

As these examples show you, it’s necessary to take IoT security seriously and it’s imperative for manufacturing companies and enterprises to incorporate a robust IoT security framework into their development and practices.

IoT Security Compliance Framework — Checklist

Due to the potential severity caused by a hack many organizations outsource their IoT security compliance needs to a third party that can professionally handle their security needs. However, in addition to utilizing a trusted third-party organization, you also need to take the following factors into consideration when developing your security compliance framework.

Product/Device Life Cycle

You need to take security into consideration from the very beginning of a product’s lifecycle and it should be deeply inscribed into the very code and functionality of an IoT device. Furthermore, you must also ensure that you’re monitoring the lifecycle of the devices used in the organization and that employees no longer retain access to them once they leave the company. You must ensure that the devices don’t remain connected to the network once their utility is over. Basically, you need to make sure that you know who has access to a device at all times, and what functions it’s allowed to carry out.

Authorization

This implies that certain individuals only have access to certain necessary features of IoT devices, i.e., role-based authority access. As such, if there’s a security breach, the level of damage caused is minimal and contained.

Authentication

IoT devices need to communicate with various other devices to maximize functionality. However, if you communicate with an unsecured device and over an unsecured network, you drastically increase the risk of a security breach through malware. As such, the only way to ensure security is to only allow authenticated IoT devices to be in communication with a trusted secured network.

Data Protection

IoT devices should limit the data they collect as much as possible so as to limit the data lost or compromised in case of a security breach. As such, unnecessary data of consumers should not be stored in IoT devices. Manufacturers should also provide visibility on the data collection and incorporate an opt-out option.

Testing

Testing is absolutely essential to ensure that your security framework works efficiently. Testing is carried out in three phases — digital testing, physical testing, and third-party testing. All of them should be carried out, followed by continual testing and relevant patching.

Flexibility

You must ensure that your security framework is flexible enough that you can update it routinely in order to incorporate new tools and guidelines. This can be done by automating the process of software upgrades. As such, as soon as a threat is detected, all of the users’ devices will be updated automatically to deal with the threat without having to wait for validation.

Remote Patching

Remote Patching is the process of planning, deciding, and managing the updates of software and devices within a network. The benefit here is that it can all be managed from a single application or source. As such, if there’s a security threat, remote patching can be used to incorporate changes in all IoT devices instead of having to go through a product recall. Not only does this increase the customer experience, it’s also a lot more secure and cost-efficient.

Intrusion Detection

Before you use any other features to mitigate the threat or deal with them, you need to have a system in place to detect possible intrusions and alert you in real-time. Most platforms are incapable of handling big data, which makes them inefficient at detecting intrusions as well. As such, since the data volume gathered from IoT is so large, the platform being used to process and protect the data must also be powerful and capable of handling such volumes of data. Furthermore, the platform must have the ability to identify anomalies in the traffic behavior and detect potential malicious applications and behaviors. Alerts can be triggered by the presence of any anomalies, which can then be analyzed and actions can be taken.

The components mentioned above are simply the basics required for a security framework’s development. Companies must consult IoT Security Compliance experts for a detailed overview of the measures that need to be adopted to maximize their data security.

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