As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, security solution providers will begin fielding more and more questions about IoT devices and applications and what they can do for customers' businesses. Some level of IoT adoption is most likely inevitable for your customers in the next few years and, chances are, will benefit not only their businesses, but also yours. But with that being said, IoT technology should not be adopted carelessly. As you discuss IoT adoption with your customers, make sure to stress the following key points about IoT security.
1. The IoT is not inherently secure—not even close
The ubiquity of wireless Internet connectivity and the relative cheapness and accessibility of many IoT devices can make IoT adoption seem like a slam dunk, but for any organization interested in preserving its network and data security, caution should be advised. Numerous security researchers have revealed security vulnerabilities in many IoT-enabled devices, as Wired reports. And the stakes are high. Depending on the technology in question and the network to which it connects, these vulnerabilities can endanger not just the security of enterprise infrastructure and data, but the very lives of the people using the devices.
2. The IoT will remain difficult to secure until broad standards are in place
One of the key reasons that the security risks of IoT technologies are so high is the lack of a broad framework of security standards within which vendors can develop their products. While this is changing, with the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) working to develop standards around securing IoT devices and data, according to TechCrunch, it will take some time for those standards to be implemented. In the meantime, businesses eager to adopt the IoT should look to IoT applications and devices developed under the umbrella of organizations that have developed well-defined IoT security standards.
3. Wireless network security will be paramount as well
In most cases, IoT devices will rely on available Wi-Fi networks in order to transmit the data that they collect to the resources and applications that make sense of those data. This creates an additional vulnerability in the form of poorly secured or segmented wireless networks, particularly on enterprise premises. Here, you and customers interested in future IoT adoption can be proactive. Evaluate current wireless security, working with your distributor as necessary in order to provide vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. Identify vulnerable areas and plan to have the issues addressed before IoT adoption. This way, you'll preemptively remove a major challenge when it comes to future IoT deployments for that customer.
Despite the seriousness of the challenges listed above, however, the IoT is not a trend to be ignored. For every challenge, there are organizations working toward solutions, and the potential business benefits of the IoT are simply too great to be passed over. Simply make sure you and your customers are aware of the challenges to be faced so that you can undertake IoT adoption as securely as possible.
Have more questions? Speak to an Ingram Micro Networking and Security specialist today to learn more and discover the resources to get you up to speed on IoT security.