Businesses’ reliance on the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing not only as a means of pushing services to users, but also as a means of maintaining connections with employees, partners, contractors and even competitors. But there is growing concern that organizations are rushing to reap the rewards of IoT without fully understanding the risks and taking steps to address fundamental security challenges. If anything, the past few years have shown that our data and critical systems are vulnerable to theft and manipulation. Organizations that do not take bold steps to protect user privacy and ensure systems operate in a protected environment not only risk serious business loss and reputational damage, but also civil and even criminal penalties.
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Harshit Agarwal, CEO of Appknox, said that given this busy environment, now is the perfect time to build a dynamic and flexible IoT security regime. The longer this process takes, the harder it is for organizations to see what needs to be protected, let alone do so in an effective and efficient manner. First, organizations should ensure that existing IoT platforms provide appropriate encryption, data management, privacy, and other features to provide robust services without putting data or users at risk. And since many IoT devices will be located outdoors, they must be hardened against the elements as well as theft and tampering. One thing is certain about IoT security: Failure is not an option.
We’re already at a point where the Internet of Things provides critical connectivity for a variety of critical life support functions — everything from self-driving cars to pacemakers. If these devices are compromised, people die; it’s that simple. We have to ask, if IoT security is so important, (and it is) then why does it fail over and over again? Looking at enterprise IoT deployments today, it seems that the same basic mistakes are being repeated over and over again. It’s a sad remark for the IT industry that security has traditionally been an afterthought. With legacy data infrastructure compromised in recent years, it would be grossly remiss to unleash an entirely new data ecosystem in the world only to find it an easy prey for cybercriminals looking to profit off of the pain of others. It’s also important to remember that IoT security is not a hole-in-one sport. It requires vigilance from information security teams and business stakeholders, ultimately serving their interests by protecting corporate data.