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IoT security faces challenges but can be addressed

The presence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has played a significant role in making more devices connected, from cellphones and computers to building’s locks, thermostats, lighting and security systems. The ability to connect so much to the Internet has made life more convenient, but with those benefits comes a fair amount of risk, particularly with IoT security, according to Enterprise Networking Planet.

IoT security doesn’t just apply to making IoT devices safe to use, which is critical, it also refers to protecting the networks that these devices use. IoT security works to keep any transmitted data private, while maintaining user privacy and IoT devices’ policy compliance and supporting technology. It’s a lot to ask of any security unit, but it must be done, especially as the number of IoT devices increases every year and enterprises implement additional IoT solutions across different apps.

As valiant as IoT security is to protect devices and the networks they operate on, cyberattacks still happen. However, it’s not always cyber criminals to blame when these breaches happen. Enterprises and their employees often have a hand in leaving the door open for attacks to occur.

Here are some of the potentially preventable challenges IoT security faces and how they can be resolved.

Not enough encryption

When transmitted data isn’t encrypted, attackers seize the opportunity to intercept credentials and eventually compromise an enterprise’s network, Enterprise Networking Planet reports. These are known as man-in-the-middle attacks and they can occur even if data is partially encrypted. Businesses must ensure any data that could be vulnerable to such attacks is encrypted fully and correctly. This can be accomplished by assessing and resolving device weaknesses as well as resolving bad device encryption.

Lack of investment in IoT security

Businesses will remain vulnerable to cyberattacks as long as they try limit their IoT security budget. Updating the amount of money dedicated to security will be critical to protecting IoT devices and wireless networks. Investments can be made in agentless solutions, data classification and encryption practices. Working with solution providers to help address the challenges that come with navigating the changing IT environment and threats is also a worthwhile investment.

Missing device updates

Device updates and software or firmware security patches on IoT devices and gateways must be done consistently. Doing this takes some work; available updates have to be tracked and applied across distributed environments that various devices define. Plus, there’s the chance that a lot of devices might not support wireless updates. Older devices may not have updates or their manufacturers don’t support them. This could leave it up to enterprises to manually ensure that devices are being updated properly, increasing the chances that something falls through the cracks.

Businesses can avoid that happening by developing device management strategies or implementing device management systems that will automatically track their devices and deploy required updates when needed. Additionally, systems should spot devices that aren’t supported and vulnerable and which ones should be retired, Enterprise Networking Planet reports.

Shortage of processing power

A lot of IoT apps don’t use much data, so they have extended battery life, lowering their cost. The downside is it’s harder to conduct over-the-air updates for a lot of these IoT devices. Cybersecurity features can’t be implemented, leaving these devices vulnerable to hackers. Businesses should make sure their network has built-in security features that are updated regularly to keep their IoT apps safe.

“The adoption of IoT security will rise as negative factors resulting from the global chip shortage combine with greater awareness from consumers and more impactful action from governments and regulatory bodies to trigger this growth,” wrote Collins Ayuya for Enterprise Networking Planet.  “Regulatory and consumer action toward greater IoT security standards will ultimately push organizations to take a more proactive approach to IoT security.”

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