Internet of Things (IoT) & Cybersecurity Challenges, Benefits & Solutions
by Xcel Digital
Posted: Feb 09, 2020
Posted: Feb 09, 2020
At a Glance
- Internet-of-Things (IoT) has been widely accepted at a consumer level finding its way to many applications in our daily life.
- Companies, on the other hand, understand the value IoT would bring to the business; however, they have been hesitant to invest due to security concerns, cyber attacks and the harm to the business thereof.
- Only 28% customers pay major emphasis on IoT-related cyber security strategies, this is possibly due a tangible ROI for the investment.
- Only 10% of enterprise customers expressed confidence over successfully detecting and preventing malware attacks on IoT devices.
- Assessing security risks and implementing an agile methodology can protect IoT devices from vulnerabilities and grow the IoT market to 20.4 billion devices by 2020, a rise of 12 billion in 3 years.
- This article provides an in-depth analysis of cybersecurity as it relates to IoT in the Business-2-Business (B2B) world giving you the ability to evaluate and implement IoT to better address your business needs.
- One of the earliest IoT attacks was Stuxnet in 2010, which targeted a "smart" industrial controller utilized in nuclear facilities. The malware destroyed almost one-quarter of the centrifuges, which brought a nuclear program into halt for the next two years.
- In 2015, a Russian IoT malware brought significant impact to the electrical grids of Ukraine, leaving 230,000 people without power.
- In the following year, the famous Mirai botnet incident took place in the IoT history. Nearly 360,000 servers of Dyn servers were impacted, taking down multiple high-traffic websites.Mirai identified and infected vulnerable IoT devices. The devices were not infected until they were rebooted.
- In 2017, a hacker got access to 200,000 open printers and printed over the Internet affecting over 150,000 printers.
- Following the Mirai botnet incident, a subsequent attack took place in January 2018. Okiru, which is a variant of Mirai malware, targeted ARC processors embedded in billions of IoT products.
- A key reason why companies are restraining from a robust approach to IoT security is because of the fact that IoT is not a part of mainstream business operations and does not call the attention of the business leaders within.
- Only 57% enterprises plan to increase their investment on IoT in the future, whereas 19% don’t want to and 23% are unsure of the potential of IoT in generating ROI.
- 52% organizations ignore the security of their devices since the inception of the development phase.
- 51% companies don’t give remote updates to their devices.
- A handful of 20% organizations recruit IoT security experts.
- Only 35% insists security researchers to find out vulnerabilities in their devices.
- Introducing chip security in the trusted platform module (TPM) form to prevent release of information outside the chip
- Ensuring secure booting so that only verified software functions on the device
- Safeguarding the device with an additional physical security protection in the form of a metal shield covering internal circuitry in events of intruder attack
- Implementing security solutions that are data-centric, which transmit encrypted data, so even if intercepted becomes meaningless without security codes to unlock them.
- Arranging firewall systems to spot unexpected intrusions and prevent malicious actions on the communication layer.
- Encrypting the data stored in the cloud to fail cyberattacks
- Double checking those third-party connections who want to establish contact with your server to safeguard yourself from malicious activity
- Validating the authenticity of third-party networks with digital certificates - an ‘asymmetric, encryption based, authentication system’
- Frequent activity monitoring can better enable tracking, logging and pointing untrustworthy actions.
- Regular security patches to keep the system up-to-date, reinforce resistance against strikes and resolve possible vulnerabilities.
- Secure remote control to maintain billions of IoT devices hassle-free, without entertaining incoming connections but establishing bi-directional connections.
- Monitoring via equipment sensors and in-memory analytics cut down unplanned downtime and unpredictable higher maintenance cost
- With integration of PLCs with ERP systems, Plant Managers and Production Supervisors can receive text messages when a reactor gets overheated during the production of a batch. IoT can facilitate a 2-way communication to shut-off or take appropriate action protecting the company from significant exposure to accidents and unplanned events
- Using big data and predictive analysis across thousands of batches helps to bring the predictive quality
- Applying connected sensors to monitor energy consumption aids in controlling cost, ensuring compliance, greener operations
- An American pharma company that utilizes vacuum pump to freeze-dry drugs by reducing humidity lost products worth $20 million when their $3,500 pumps broke down. After facing the huge loss, the company enabled IoT sensors to its pumps and other machinery, taking IoT and big data analytics services from Bigfinite. The sensors collect data, which is stored in the cloud-based platform. And the company is notified prior if any breakdown is likely to occur, so that the company takes preventive measure before the production is affected.
- When the refrigerator of a pediatrician malfunctioned in 2014, the entire batch of vaccine got wasted as it was kept in lower than the recommended temperature to preserve vaccines. In two years span (2014-15), the organization had to complete revaccination for more than 4000 kids.
- IoT devices accumulate valuable data and send it to manufacturers in real time. A French pharma company that deployed a cellular-based IoT platform once got an alert notifying temperature drop than the recommended level on a drug shipment, which was heading to North America. On receiving the information in real-time the company was able to fix the en route.
- As per Bain, the purchase of IoT devices will increase by 70% if the concerns of top executives are resolved.
- In addition, 93% of the executives expressed their intent to pay an average of 22% more for devices with finer security.
- IoT devices have the ability to collect and share critical information in real-time. This gives you the ability to leverage IoT in more applications than ever before. A French Pharma company that deployed a cellular-based IoT platform received an alert notifying a drop in temperature than the recommended level on a critical shipment enroute to North America. This alert allowed the company to take immediate action and save the shipment, avoiding millions in losses.
- Establishing standards in a growing technology takes time and requires investments in areas of exposure. Internet of Things is one such technology which offers great benefits to a business. Its adoption is on a meteoric rise due to the benefits, cost savings and visibility into operations.
- Advancing security systems within the organization can be your initial step in minimizing the exposure to threats. It is essential to look beyond the current business to get an edge over hackers with profound cyber threat detection capabilities. Get a good understanding of your business environment to proactively address and fix the security loopholes.
- If security is beefed up to prevent a malware attack, there are no barriers to the adoption of IoT.
XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology.