IoT security

  • Internet of Things security?

    The term IoT, or Internet of Things, refers to all physical objects that can connect to the Internet. These connected objects have sensors capable of collecting data and / or actuators making it possible to control their environment. Connected to the Internet, a mobile network or a wired connection, they communicate with other computer systems.

    These new IoT applications expand the functionality of smart objects, but can also introduce security holes.

    What are the Internet of Things security risks? What are the best practices and solutions?


    The risks and security challenges of the Internet of Things?

    More open and extensive than the traditional machine-to-machine (M2M), the Internet of Things uses different types of networks, including the Internet. As a result, the system can become more visible and therefore vulnerable.

    For example, at the end of 2020, a connected washing machine, insecure by default, was hacked to gain access to a healthcare facility's computer system, and to all patient data.

    While the object itself is not a sensitive device, it can provide access to confidential information. Its technology and the fact that it is connected to a hospital's IoT network makes it vulnerable like any computer or server, and it must be secured accordingly.

    Many connected devices do not have any built-in security features because it is (wrongly) believed that the data collected does not affect privacy. Or the user is asked to protect the object with a simple password.

    But all the information, applications and intercommunication necessary for the operation of smart objects can be exploited by malicious people.

    The protection of the data collected is a major issue for the IoT, like that of personal data in web forms. Other issues are smart object hijacking or malware threats. IoT devices can be targeted by hackers, hackers. With a lower level of security, or sometimes poorly configured by their users, connected objects can be more attractive for malicious use.


    Solutions to secure a connected object

    With the awareness of the threats and consequences that the world of IoT can generate, the notion of Internet of Things security is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for its development.

    Security measures and standards are gradually being imposed to frame the design and use of these connected objects in order to reduce the main vulnerabilities of devices and the risks of hacking.

    Several security levels need to be taken into account and reinforced to secure all devices in all areas of the IoT:

    • The sensors. These are the mechanisms for collecting the data sought. Different methods exist to quickly identify an attack or theft from a distance: detection of IMEI change for cellular networks, unexpected movement control, monitoring of the number of connections, etc.
    • Networks, data flows and their transport. The various networks used in IoT projects already have strong security protocols to provide companies with a certain peace of mind.
    • Data storage. IT platforms must be secured and human and technical interventions must be supervised.
    • The complete chain, from object to application. Objects must be secured and end-to-end encryption of communication flows.

    This last point can be essential depending on the type of product. Take the example of an autonomous car. The danger is a remote control of the vehicle, which would cause an accident or an attack on the public highway.


    How to secure your IoT project?

    To develop an IoT project, it is essential to surround yourself with technological partners. Security rules are essential to protect your connected object, but are not sufficient to guarantee the proper functioning of your project.

    The more early and comprehensive the support is, the fewer security vulnerabilities there will be.

    A good partner participates in the qualification of the project, by defining the criticality of the data collected and the flows, in order to provide a unique and tailor-made solution.

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