The Internet of Things (IoT) in a gist sums up all those special-purpose devices that perform certain tasks by communicating over a network. In this current age of the internet, the rate at which these IoT devices are taking up the network space, it’s becoming a rather cumbersome job for security professionals to safeguard these network of devices. With a plethora of devices available in the market for specific tasks, many of the traditional network security approaches are a cakewalk for hackers to breach. Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom for the concerned parties, who’re planning to safeguard their network. They can implement a three-step strategy for successfully managing security and IoT.
Today, most of the IoT devices can be categorized into three major areas – consumer, medical, and industrial.
Consumer IoT devices are generally the most advanced set of IoT devices, they’re packed with smart features to woo consumers, and to gain an edge over the competition – we see smart TVs, smart refrigerators, and even smart lightbulbs. As these devices compete mainly on prices and first to market practices, they generally lack the intended security that they must come equipped with.
Then comes the medical IoT devices, and to be frank, these devices are mainly designed for medical outcomes, thus the health care industry often seems to be resistant to even the modest security constraints, due to concerns that a security control could mess up the device’s functionality and it could harm a patient. This although is a well-motivated strategy but it overlooks the security.
Finally comes the Industrial IoT devices, and they too have their own plight, and that is the economics of generating power or forcing a factory brought device to go online, that was in the first never meant to go online. If we look at it traditionally, these devices were meant for an environment that is way different than the internet. Known as OT (Operational Technology), rather than internet-connected IT (Information Technology) they were managed by different people, who had a specific technique and concern. Connecting these gigantic immobile systems to the online world makes them more vulnerable to smart attacks.
Thus, summing it all up, we can say that these three different domains – consumer, medical, and industrial IoT – have distinct and unique market drivers, kinds of devices, and organizational politics that controls them. This simply means a major fraction of the standard security framework needs a thorough relook.