How Healthy Is Your Web of Connected Devices?

By: Tom Brostrom

In recent years, the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) has seen an explosion in the number of devices connected to the Internet—a trend which is set to continue long into the future with the development of new applications driven by connected homes, smart cities and autonomous vehicles. Currently, there are over 25 billion IoT connected devices worldwide. This number is forecast to reach 30 billion by 2020 and over 60 billion by the end of 2025, according to Statista. This massive wave of new devices and applications, however, comes at a cost.

The new paradigms that IoT devices bring and the technologies that they enable are producing an exponential increase in machine-to-machine communications. With ever-increasing demands for connected devices, IoT opens up a whole host of new opportunities for enterprises and for the whole of society. Consequently, IoT also dramatically increases the possibility of security issues and threats. A recent study by SonicWall revealed that IoT attacks are escalating, with a 217.5 percent increase in the volume of attacks. While everyone wants to have their devices interconnected, many of the estimated 30 billion IoT devices that will be installed by 2020 will also come with easy-to-abuse security controls—or none at all.

Security should be at the forefront of the manufacturing process. As technological advances continue to develop innovative new products, services and connected devices, the technological tactics used by hackers will also mature, leaving organizations open to a multitude of new threats. It is now crucial that every device is protected and trusted; otherwise weak links can be utilized by hackers as an easy entry point. IoT manufacturers across the globe should opt for widely deployed and proven solutions to deliver on new and emerging security needs as we move toward a connected world.

A connected society

The emergence of the IoT era brings with it a multitude of security challenges. Insufficient testing, infrequent updating, insecure default configurations, and potentially persistent malware are all factors that weaken the security of a device. Devices considered secure when first purchased can quickly prove to be insecure and prone to security issues.

As society puts greater trust in things like autonomous cars, smart homes and healthcare sensors and connects them to the Internet, manufacturers need to take steps to ensure connected devices are ubiquitously secure to protect them from data breaches and hackers. Security in the IoT era shouldn’t be an afterthought: it should be an element that is carefully and thoroughly considered during every step of the manufacturing process.

With the proliferation of connected devices under IoT and the increase in cybersecurity threats, making devices secure against IoT security issues will become a key differentiator for manufacturers in the future. Many manufacturers of larger devices have chosen to include roots of trust in their designs that give devices the ability to securely and remotely attest to their health. Without this trusted computing capability, devices could harbor persistent malware without anyone—users, network peers, or service providers—being aware.

Organizations that have deployed applications based on trusted computing concepts exhibit superior capabilities in security governance, risk management and compliance. Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) embody some of the key foundational principles of trusted computing and are basic building blocks used to provide roots of trust necessary for higher assurance. They are typically separately packaged as integrated circuits with sophisticated capabilities similar to a Hardware Security Module (HSM).


Latest Updates

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel