CYBER SECURITY: Tips To Secure Your IoT and IIoT Infrastructure

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By Ricky Philip

A failure in the security of IoT devices can be catastrophic. The consequences of such failures can range from minor inconveniences to major business disruptions, which can have serious financial implications for companies and individuals. As more and more devices are connected to the internet, they are vulnerable to attacks from hackers who want to gain access to sensitive information stored on these devices.

Therefore, it is imperative that businesses secure their IoT infrastructure against cyberattacks by implementing best practices.

Why is it Important to Secure IoT Devices and IIoT Infrastructure?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the fastest-growing segments in the technology industry. As IoT becomes more prevalent and integrated into our daily lives, it will increasingly impact how we live, work and play.

However, as with any new technology, there are security implications when using IoT devices. These devices communicate over a network that can be vulnerable to hackers, malicious software, or physical attacks. It’s important for businesses to protect their data from these threats and ensure that their customers’ information stays safe.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a way of putting sensors and actuators in every device, vehicle, home appliance, and piece of furniture in the world so that they can communicate with each other and with the Internet. It’s a network of physical objects — everything from light bulbs to cars — that are connected via the internet.

As we move into an IoT-enabled world, security is becoming one of the most important issues for businesses today. When you add in IoT devices and appliances, it becomes much more difficult for attackers to infiltrate your network and steal data or cause damage.

In fact, there are many reasons why securing your infrastructure is crucial when using Industrial IoT (IIoT) technologies:

The first reason for security concerns around IIoT is that these technologies are often installed at homes or businesses without any protection from external threats such as malware or viruses. This means that there’s no firewall or other protection in place to protect against attacks from hackers who want access to your network.

The second reason for security concerns around IIoT is that these technologies often provide greater control over your devices than traditional desktop computers do. This means that you may not know if someone has gained access to your system until something goes wrong and you realize it later.

Here are a few other reasons why you should secure your IoT devices and infrastructure.

In today’s world, there is a growing need to secure IoT and IIoT infrastructure. The importance of securing IoT and IIoT infrastructure can be understood from the following reasons:

1. IoT Generated Big Data is Confidential

The data generated in an IoT system has a huge value. It can be used for various purposes such as crime detection, monitoring, management, etc.

2. The Entire Business Can Become Compromised

The devices connected to the Internet are exposed to many cyber threats like DDoS attacks, malware attacks, etc., which lead to a data breach or device compromise.

3. Secure IoT Devices Send Quick Alerts

The devices connected to the Internet are also subject to physical damage during transportation from one place to another or during installation at customer premises, which leads to the loss of critical information stored in these devices.

How Can Businesses Keep Their IoT and IIoT Networks Secure?

Businesses can secure their IoT and IIoT infrastructure through a combination of technology, policy and resources. The most important step in securing your IoT and IIoT is investing in security technology that protects your network from outsiders.

To secure your network, you need to understand where your data flows. This includes both the physical location of your IoT devices as well as the traffic that passes through them. The solution? A smart policy management platform that can identify threats automatically before they become problems.

The first step in securing a business’s IoT infrastructure is to determine what devices are in use. This can be done by scanning the physical environment with cameras or other devices. The next step is figuring out what types of devices are connected to each other, where they’re located and what software they run.

After this, it’s time to assess the security posture of each device, such as its software version, operating system and whether it has been updated since its installation. Next comes assessing whether all data is encrypted at rest or while in transit, and if so by whom.

Once all these factors have been assessed, there are several steps companies can take to improve their security posture:

  1. Upgrade all software versions on all devices
  2. Ensure all devices have up-to-date security patches installed
  3. Use multi-factor authentication for remote access accounts
  4. Review policies and procedures for handling sensitive data

Here are a few other ways in which businesses can secure their IoT and IIoT infrastructure.

  1. Use strong passwords for all devices, including the administrator account.
  2. Use two-factor authentication where possible, such as a code sent via SMS or an app on your smartphone.
  3. Keep firmware updates up-to-date, and ensure that every device has been tested and certified by an accredited testing facility.
  4. Ensure that all devices are connected to the same network as their controller(s) (this will prevent them from being misused).
  5. Enable network isolation between devices in order to prevent them from communicating with each other (for example, if someone hacks into one device they won’t be able to access another).

Some Important Steps to Take in Securing Business IoT and IIoT

1) Protect your network from outside attacks:

A primary line of defence against cybercrime is to protect your network from outside attacks. This means creating strong passwords for employees so they can’t be compromised via phishing emails or social engineering schemes. You should also use two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible so that hackers would need multiple access points to gain access to your network.

2) Use a VPN:

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) encrypt all traffic between your device and the VPN server before sending it over public networks like the internet. They’re simple tools that can help ensure that sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands when traveling over public networks like Wi-Fi. A VPN encrypts data as it travels over public networks such as the Internet so that no one other than its intended recipient can access it.

3) Firewall:

A firewall is software that sits between an organization’s computers and the Internet. It controls which programs can connect to the Internet and blocks access to malicious websites and networks.

4) Antivirus/malware protection:

Antivirus software protects against viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other malicious code on a computer or network device. Malware is any type of software that causes harm (malicious software).

Conclusion

With the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) becoming more prevalent, it’s important to ensure that your IoT infrastructure is secure. Securing IoT and IIoT infrastructure is a growing concern for businesses of all sizes and even for IoT services company. The rise of connected devices, new software updates, and high-profile security breaches have made it imperative for businesses to have the necessary solution to ensure high security and data confidentiality.

About Author: 

Ricky Philip is an industry expert and a professional writer working at ThinkPalm Technologies. He works with a focus on understanding the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, SDN/NFV, cloud analytics, and IoT services. He is also a contributor to several prominent online publishing platforms such as DZone, HubSpot and Hackernoon.