With the quantity and severity of viruses, Trojans and data thefts apparently increasing along with the responsibilities and penalties imposed by information protection legislation, it’s no surprise that security concerns are the top priority for enterprises considering Internet of Things developments.
The research project commissioned by Blackberry looked into many aspects of IoT. Two hundred IT decision makers participated in the survey, providing insights into the speed, scale and direction of IoT-related growth and innovation. One general conclusion is that the field is moving even faster than many anticipated, which is perhaps why Blackberry has re-dubbed it “the Enterprise of Things”.
Currently, growth is most evident in the appearance of gadgets like wearables, sensors, cameras and alarm systems. In the future, enterprise systems based on the integration of these many different types of smart devices and the masses of data they allow to be captured will bring far-reaching technological and social changes.
The security headache
One big worry is the lack of security defences in the many smart devices that already exist. Traffic light systems and CCTV systems have been hacked on numerous occasions in the past, usually without malicious intent. Worries that car electronics or even pacemakers could be sabotaged, causing crashes or deaths, or TV speakers used to eavesdrop, have all made the news.
In 2016, IoT devices were co-opted to launch DOS attacks on DNS company Dyn and cloud provider OVH.
Additionally, companies have little incentive to gather data if it cannot be commercialised, and this raises technical and legal problems of its own. In the future, the protocols used across the IoT will be encrypted and more secure from data theft, hijacking or interference. They’ll also be easier to commodify for commercial purposes and to comply with regulatory controls.
In the meantime, enterprises need to secure each of their endpoints one by one. Fortunately we already have specialists like https://www.promisec.com/ with expertise in this area.
Many companies have already moved to secure their employees’ smartphones. A common endpoint strategy is to “containerise” digital resources, keeping applications, corporate data and personal information all separate. Endpoint suites also install coordinated anti-malware and suspicious activity monitors both centrally and on each endpoint into corporate systems.
78 per cent of those surveyed agreed that a holistic integrated endpoint platform is the way to go.