By their very nature, Internet of Things (IoT) devices are connected to networks, making them vulnerable to various malicious actors who may attempt to access sensitive data or disrupt operations.
Organizations should plan for an IoT-integrated system to ensure secure operation while assessing the security measures needed to protect device data within a cloud-native environment.
What are the Security Challenges of IoT in Cloud-Native Environments?
Here are three key areas that organizations must consider when protecting their data and devices in these environments:
Offsite Location and Connectivity Risks
When deploying on the cloud, businesses must be mindful of where their data is stored and transferred across regions. Data should always be secured with proper encryption to prevent confidentiality breaches.
Once connected devices start transmitting over long distances, new vulnerabilities may arise from malicious actors outside the network trying to access or disrupt distributed systems.
To address this risk, companies must implement robust authentication and authorization policies for all connected devices and multi-factor authentication such as biometrics or SMS logins when necessary.
Insurance Against Compromised Systems
Hackers are becoming increasingly savvy at exploiting vulnerable points within an organization’s system, especially within IoT networks.
Businesses need adequate protection against data breaches caused by compromised systems, lost or stolen assets, or DDoS attacks to quickly recover from any incident without hefty losses.
Organizations should carry cybersecurity insurance coverage that protects against possible security lapses due to unknown threats or potential negligence.
Automated Monitoring and Anomaly Detection
Given the many devices connected to an IoT network, businesses need to get real-time visibility into their system performance and alert personnel when suspicious activity occurs.
When setting up visibility, businesses should prioritize setting up automated monitoring and anomaly detection to identify any security gaps or unknown threats in the system. They could also add intrusion-detection systems to detect malicious attacks from external sources and help them respond quickly.
10 Strategies to Help Secure IoT Devices and Data?
Organizations need proper strategies and protocols to ensure that their IoT devices remain secure while taking advantage of cloud-native architectures. Here are some best practices for how organizations can protect their data while deploying on the cloud:
1. Always Utilize Encryption Protocols
Companies must implement specific measures such as advanced encryption standards (AES) for authentication, authorization, and data protection across all enterprise systems and connected devices.
They should use end-to-end encryption when transferring sensitive data between data centers or sending alerts about ongoing incidents related to device identifiers or user credentials.
2. Adopt Robust Authentication Protocols
Although multifactor authentication may seem like a cumbersome process, companies must use several layers of biometric authentications not only at the network level but also for user accounts.
Multiple verification processes will ensure that only authorized people gain access to network resources and data stored on the cloud. Using a reliable VPN service for your device or other measures to strengthen security further while users access data and applications on the cloud is also essential as it prevents potential data breaches. Also, try to focus on the software that works best for your device. For example, Windows users should choose antivirus software for Windows, Mac users – for Mac, and so on.
3. Monitor and Detect Unusual Behaviour
Businesses should continuously review their system performance in real-time and use automated anomaly detection tools to identify potential threats from external sources or inside the organization.
Companies can also incentivize their employees for responsible behavior by implementing user access control policies, whitelisting activities for valid behaviors, and alerting IT personnel if any unusual activity is identified.
4. Implement Patch Management
Patching the software on your systems and connected devices is one of the most basic steps businesses can take to protect their resources from being compromised by malicious hackers.
By implementing a robust patch management strategy and automated vulnerability scans, businesses can ensure they regularly update any programs with vulnerabilities or security flaws.
5. Track Asset Inventory
Companies must always keep track of all IoT devices connected to their network and be aware of any new ones joining it. Thus, asset inventory tracking is critical if organizations want secure and available solutions.
6. Carry Insurance Coverage
Businesses should ensure adequate protection against possible data breaches caused by compromised systems and malware or DDoS attacks. This will help them quickly recover from any incident without bearing heavy losses.
Cybersecurity insurance coverage should cover all major liabilities such as data recovery, network downtime, replacement of equipment, and other related services.
7. Increase System Visibility
Access control and visibility alone are not enough to protect organizations from security threats—it’s also important that they gain insight into their system’s performance and alerts.
Companies need a holistic view of their system infrastructure by using monitoring and alerting protocols to have complete visibility over the entire ecosystem.
8. Educate Employees About Cyber Security
As part of their monthly or quarterly training, an organization should always teach employees about new cybersecurity concepts and how to protect themselves from malicious attacks.
This can vary from teaching employees about phishing emails to implementing two-factor authentication measures when accessing critical systems.
9. Deploy Unification Solutions
For businesses struggling to manage complicated hybrid environments due to limited IT staff or resources, unification solutions can be an effective way of streamlining operations.
It can manage multiple devices from one central location, such as cloud-computing technologies and monitoring platforms with helpdesk features and smart analytics capabilities
10. Monitor Application Logs
Organizations should regularly review application logs to maintain a proper audit trail regarding any activity performed within an application. In case of any suspicious activity, log events can be used to trace back the originator quickly and further investigate any code change or action on the device itself.
IoT security models are essential for protecting connected devices against malicious actors attempting unauthorized access. Organizations must take extra steps when deploying on a cloud-native architecture to properly protect themselves from data breaches caused by impaired systems or compromised assets.
These strategies include:
- Encryption protocols
- Authentication measures
- Anomaly detection tools
- Asset inventory tracking
- Cybersecurity insurance coverage
Most importantly, companies need to educate their workforce on information security best practices and provide unification solutions that give them a holistic view of their system performance and helpdesk features.