How to Ensure Failsafe Security in IoT Applications

In the 4th and final post in our series on the Internet of Things (IoT), Henrik Knudtzon, Chief Financial Officer at IDEX Biometrics explains how to ensure failsafe security in IoT applications. The previous post in our series on IoT looked at how biometric technology is penetrating the IoT market.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to continue to grow very quickly in the coming years. Security is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, with a focus on ensuring these connected objects are protected and remain that way for the duration of their connection and beyond. Within the IoT, the human element is removed or diminished, leaving machines to do the thinking; sensors create information about behaviors, analyze that information, and take action based on that information. Ideally, these analyses are accurate and provide a tailored result that matches the individual or business. All of these new pathways create potential places for sensitive data to be compromised. 

Keeping the data secure no matter where it is in the IoT is an important part of any security protocol. Encryption throughout the various stages of data’s travel is one of the best ways to protect it. Application and user data should be encrypted, both during transmission between objects and while at rest. Creating audit trails, anomaly detection, and plans for response to any breaches are also important parts of a strong security strategy. 

Device Security

Securing the devices or objects that transfer data through the IoT is not always easy. Some devices are physically vulnerable to breaches. Ensuring that these devices only have encrypted information is one of the best ways to secure them, paired with using a storage medium that is difficult to move or relocate to another less secure device. Requiring authentication when accessing these devices is also an important step in the security process.

Hardware vendors can also play a role in ensuring user privacy. As new hardware is developed that requires different authorization and recognition of credentials, this can work with other encryption methods to help protect data and keep it more secure. 

Security Best Practices

Consider the entire system when developing a security strategy. If one portion of your system is vulnerable or could be leveraged against another portion of your system, it may open other areas to potential exploitation. Work through the entire system as a whole once you have developed the pieces of your security strategy to eliminate any possibly overlooked security weaknesses. Using developers who are familiar with the IoT and the potential risks that applications face during their connectivity can make a significant difference in whether or not your application is exploited.

Ensuring failsafe security is an ongoing process; there is no guarantee that a breach will never happen, but there are things you can do to make one less likely to occur. Remaining constantly vigilant and proactive is one of the main ways to keep an application secure. No solution is a one-and-done solution. With the continued aggressive growth of the IoT, the landscape is ever changing and new ways to breach previously strong security measures are constantly being developed. A great security solution will also evolve and change as is needed to guarantee continued protection of data and applications.

The previous post in our series on IoT looked at how biometric technology is penetrating the IoT market.