Securing the IoT against cyber attack

Dirk Paessler, CEO of Paessler

The Internet of Things is perhaps the most significant IT revolution of our time in terms of it’s potential to change the way we do everything – from working to shopping.

But as its reach and influence on our lives continues to grow, attention must at some point turn from simply what IoT might be able to do for us, to how do we make sure that it doesn’t let us down.

From a security perspective there are a number of risks associated with migrating existing IT networks and devices on to the IoT, due to the large scale transfer of information that is required providing an ideal environment for cyber criminals, says Dirk Paessler is CEO of Paessler.

In addition, research from the Ponemon Institute, a research organisation focusing on privacy and data protection, found that 94% of risk management professionals believed that a security incident resulting from unsecured IoT devices “could be catastrophic”. This underlines the importance of ensuring high levels of cyber security as the IoT continues to grow, and begs the question of how can we keep it secure whilst also making the most of its undoubted benefits?

A growing threat

Today the threats to a company’s IT are more diverse than ever before. Viruses and Trojans are as big a threat as they have ever been, but beyond this, the proliferation of IoT presents even more opportunities for malware intrusion. IT has to work hard to address these risks; the challenge is to find a balance between new opportunities and greater flexibility on the one hand, and adequate security provision on the other.

However, it is not only malicious attackers that threaten a company’s data. Malfunctions and physical hazards can also present issues. Failures or misconfigured devices and applications, along with fires, floods or extreme heat can put huge pressure on a company’s IT infrastructure and that pressure will only grow with the rapid proliferation of IoT. All of these threats can be kept in check, but the question is how can businesses make sure that everything works in a synchronised way?

Prioritising security

The answer is a comprehensive cyber security strategy that can identify potential hazards, organise appropriate tools for protection and control this with one central solution – a so-called meta-security tool.

An IT monitoring solution is one such tool, allowing businesses to manage all of the various security solutions they use. In the first instance, it allows businesses to monitor the full range of traditional security tools. A comprehensive monitoring solution provides IT teams with this knowledge, and ensures that all of the various parts of an organisation’s infrastructure are functioning properly.

Similarly, it allows businesses to keep an eye on the ‘things’ that make up the IoT, whether that be physical control devices like sensors and video cameras or IoT-enabled industrial machinery, ensuring that all systems operate as expected, and act as an early warning system that notifies the relevant parties if any threats are detected.

Making the difference

Ultimately, IT monitoring enables a company to monitor functionality across all parts of its IT infrastructure, and also acts as a fall back in case conventional security tools fail. But the main benefit of an effective IT monitoring solution is that it provides administrators with clarity, giving them a complete and single overview of the network. This is particularly important in the context of IoT, where devices and other ‘things’ are being added and removed from the network on a regular basis.

With this in mind, when you consider the wide range of threats that can permeate an IT and IoT infrastructure, the question is not if a business should implement an IT monitoring solution but rather if it can afford not to if it wants to remain cyber secure.

The author of this blog is Dirk Paessler is CEO of Paessler

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow OR @jcIoTnow


What Matter? – The newly smart home standard

Posted on: December 2, 2022

Matter is an industry-unifying IoT wireless network standard that still needs to be released. It strives to become a reliant, frictionless, safe communication basis for connected objects. The project was announced and started in 2019. By utilising a specific collection of IP-based networking technologies, initiating with Thread, wi-fi, and Ethernet, Matter is a platform built

Read more

Ericsson, Thales launches IoT accelerator device connect with eSIMs for enterprises

Posted on: December 2, 2022

Ericsson’s Internet of Things (IoT) business, in partnership with Thales, launches IoT Accelerator Device Connect, a service offering generic eSIMs unbundled from pre-selected Service Providers. For the first time, enterprises have the flexibility to select one or more Service Providers easily and instantly at the time of device activation. This new business model dramatically accelerates

Read more

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more