Securing the IoT is top of mind. Clearly it represents a significant challenge. However, one question on my mind is where to place the most effective security measures across the IoT system. Is security at the device level better than at the network level? It’s important to understand that costs play a major factor in the IoT device design and production. While many enterprise-grade devices will no doubt tackle security and even chip manufacturers will develop some products with security built-in, others will choose to forgo the cost of, at least, serious security measures.
Across a broad Internet of Things network with thousands of connected devices, it would be easy to argue that the network represents the absolute best environment to embed the strongest level of security.
Fortunately, there is a solution. The article inked to below makes a good case for the network carry the security for connected devices. The author stated,
These devices are a threat precisely because they are networked, so to mitigate the threat, we should use the network. We need to better understand our networks and make them more resilient and transparent. Your end goal here should be segmentation – ensuring critical parts of your network where, for example, customer data may be kept, are separate from non-critical parts hosting smart fish tanks and other potentially insecure IoT kit.
In my opinion, security may be the greatest challenge that impedes the growth of the Internet of Things. With the continual, almost weekly, announcement of a new hack of consumer data, adding new vulnerabilities through introducing IoT into the enterprise seems extremely risky. How many CEOs will assume the risk? If the ROI is not clear, I find it questionable whether CEOs and their Boards will be driven towards IoT adoption.
There may be a ripe differentiation strategy for multiple companies across industries to position themselves as the security-conscious provider of connected devices, network, etc. These companies may be able to capture a premium price acceptable to risk-averse CEOs and Boards with a need to drive greater productivity and business growth through the IoT. Who knows, it’s speculation now. But we’ll see how the market addresses security either at the device or network level.