September 2021 Guest Opinion: Three Best Practices for IoT Security

September 2021 Guest Opinion: Three Best Practices for IoT Security

September 27, 2021

With many of us continuing to work from home, there is no doubt that security remains a priority. Businesses like LinkedIn, Yahoo and Marriott are among organizations who have suffered some of the worst data breaches recently, with millions of users impacted. With security top of mind for many enterprises, the IoT presents tremendous business opportunity. Mitigating the risk of a network being hacked can put organizations in a better position to grow their businesses and leverage data.  Before adopting IoT within an organization, there are several factors that organizations should consider so they can harness the opportunities afforded by IoT without compromising the security of their businesses. Here are three best practices for IoT security.

Realizing when a use case requires an IP connected device

When organizations are looking to transmit massive amounts of data, chances are that IT departments will require the IoT devices to have IP addresses. Unfortunately, constantly being connected to the internet makes devices more susceptible to attacks and businesses will need to increase protection. In other words, if the device is constantly communicating with the network, there are countless opportunities for that network to be breached. So, what can businesses do to protect their devices?

On the plus side, there are alternative solutions that do not require devices to constantly be connected to the internet. Devices on a 0G network do not even have an IP address, they benefit from a dedicated and secure low bandwidth network that makes the bridge with the Internet. Those devices are ideal for all monitoring situation where you don’t need constant update and connectivity.

Knowing when there is a backup network available

Use cases that are more complicated and require large amounts of data and frequent collection as well as IP addresses would require business leaders to take extra steps, like adding a backup network, to keep the network secure. If an IP network is hacked, organizations would benefit from having a 0G network as a backup and acting as a killswitch that would shut down the compromised node. The beauty of a 0G network is that it is difficult to hack and allows devices to send a signal to close the system if a hack is detected.

Understanding the information that is being transmitted

Organizations benefit from having the ability to collect data and deliver insights that inform business development using the IoT. However, before doing so, they must conduct an internal audit of which information they would like to collect and at what frequency.

From there, organizations will gain a broader understanding of how complex their IoT security measures should be because there are varying levels of threat. Consider this: monitoring the temperature inside a restaurant’s refrigerator is much less critical than monitoring the location of a vaccine shipment.

When it comes to how often organizations would like to collect data, the more frequently they collect it, the tighter the security needs to be. Despite the advantages of constant connectivity, organizations should also consider this as an evergreen opportunity for hackers to get into the network. In this scenario, additional precaution should be taken seriously.

By taking these factors into consideration, business leaders can have peace of mind when implementing IoT devices and realize the benefits of IoT technology without compromising security.

After earning his Master of Science in Engineering, Laurent Soubielle launched his career in the IoT and M2M communications industry. He then worked seven years for Cegedim Activ, responsible for overseeing customer account management for healthcare insurance providers. Laurent joined Sigfox in 2015, as part of the project management team in Labege France. He participated at the creation of the IoT Agency (consulting arm of Sigfox) where he led and developed customer pilots like Louis Vuitton luggage tracking and Michelin container tracking. Laurent relocated to Boston, MA in 2019 working for Sigfox USA, where he is now responsible for leading the sales engineering team.