The Internet of Things (IoT) security market worldwide was $7.28 billion in 2016. Over the years, this figure has increased significantly, and revenue from the IoT sensors market is forecasted to be about $15.85 billion worldwide this year.
By the end of 2025, this amount is expected to almost double with an estimated $30.9 billion in revenue from the Internet of Things (IoT) security market worldwide. These figures reveal how essential and necessary it is to observe IoT security best practices for your business and IoT ecosystem.
The Internet of Things (IoT) solutions enable you to transform your customer experiences and business operations across a plethora of sectors and uses. Although this unlimited opportunity calls for excitement, it is however also accompanied by privacy, risk, and security concerns.
To protect companies, devices, and customers, all IoT solutions should begin and end with security. The most effective IoT protection solution provides multi-layered security from the tip of the cloud, allowing you to safeguard your IoT devices, data, and connectivity.
We have arranged the following IoT security best practices to assist you in protecting your company and IoT infrastructure, from the design and execution stage to ongoing management and operations. A number of standard recommendations accompany each practice as well. Keep in mind that these recommendations do not include every possible element (it’s not an exhaustive compilation) and only expound on the basic principles behind each rule.
IoT Security Best Practices
Provision systems and devices with special credentials and identities
- Allocate distinctive identities to all in-cloud or on-premises systems as well as all devices of your IoT infrastructures.
- Allocate cryptographic and unique credentials like X.509 certificates to individual identity.
- Design mechanisms to drive the production, rotation, distribution, and revocation of the credentials.
- Choose to utilize hardware-secured modules like hardware security modules (HSMs) or Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) for keeping credentials and executing authentication operations.
Adopt access control and verification mechanisms
- Build vivid trust boundaries in your IoT infrastructure depending on your threat model and implement access controls on every access beyond those boundaries.
- Enforce the identification and mitigation of issues with entry points in the IoT infrastructure that can spur spoofing or forging identities and unofficial rise of privileges.
- If your IoT threat model contains latent physical access to devices by unverified persons, be sure to tamper-proof your devices’ hardware and deactivate any idle hardware interfaces at the firmware and/or physically or operating system level.
- Develop mechanisms to evaluate your IoT infrastructure’s privileges and credentials routinely and when their related identities change through lifestyle phases.
- Opt for manual access controls like tamper-proofing your devices as an extra form of defense.
- Implement resource utilization limits and bandwidth restrictions to secure the availability of resources used by multiple entities.
Employ cryptographic network protocols
- Safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of outbound and inbound long and short-range network communication channels that you utilize to deploy, provision, administer, track, and transfer data.
- Safeguard data integrity in spite of the classification stage, by employing cryptographic network protocols to unravel any unofficial modification.
- For resource-confined devices that are incompatible with cryptographic network protocols, ensure you reduce their network events to short-range connections within network-level trust boundaries as indicated in your threat model.
- Use standard and open cryptographic network protocols that are continuously and publicly vetted by the security community and peer-reviews. Employing cryptographic legacies like encryption functions or one-way hash functions cannot substitute cryptographic protocols for safeguarding data in conveyance.
- Cryptographic protocols observe contextual information necessary for implementing data mobility security controls. These comprise protected cryptographic key negotiation or exchange, recipient verification, message order integrity, and successful message delivery authentication.
Establish constant update and launch mechanisms
- Employ cryptographic protocols for sending launch artifacts.
- Use and authenticate digital signatures on distributed deployment artifacts.
- Use a default configuration for launching security patches and updates automatically.
- Use access and authentication controls on deployment artifact vaults as well as their distribution channels.
- Keep an inventory of the initiated software across your IoT infrastructure, including patch and version status.
- Track deployments status throughout your IoT infrastructure and scrutinize any stalled or unsuccessful deployments.
- Employ version control mechanisms to stop unauthorized persons from forcing software or firmware downgrades.
- Activate notification mechanisms to notify stakeholders instantly when your functional facility cannot launch security updates to your fleet.
- Built mechanisms to determine and substitute confined-devices that are incapable of getting updates.
- Initiate identification and response mechanisms to manage unauthorized modifications in launched firmware or software.
Implement security auditing and tracking mechanisms
- Implement auditing and tracking mechanisms to ensure continuous collection and report on activity logs and metrics.
- Track off-device and on-device activities such as process deployment, network entry, traffic points, and system engagement for any unforeseen behavior.
- Ensure and frequently initiate a security incident response plan in addition to recovery and containment mechanisms. This should correspond to the technical skill level of facilitators of your IoT ecosystem and their ownership and deployment model.
Establish continuous wellness checks for security mechanisms
- Use mechanisms like canary tests to constantly check that your security systems and controls are in place.
- Confirm that security mechanisms restrict unofficial access and keep their integrity in case of any internal system or external dependency failures.
- Test-run your IoT devices to ascertain that they retain their security functionalities in case of any failures including:
- Unavailable network connection or absence of intermittent connectivity.
- Consumption of malformed inputs including sensed data.
- Faulty attached devices such as physical sensors.
- Low processing or memory resources
- Fluctuating or low battery power
Proactive assessment of the effect of possible security events
- Establish and maintain a threat model that comprises all systems and assets across your IoT infrastructure.
- Determine and gauge the effect of a security challenge on your IoT devices, their actuation systems and sensed environment, their related cloud and on-premises infrastructure, supply chain links and human operators, and processes.
- Examine various components of security situations such as sophistication, scale, and degree of forbidden access to evaluate the latent impact and develop corresponding in-depth phases of detection, prevention, containment, as well as recovery.
- Supplement your field gateways and devices with credentials that allow only the necessary privileges.
Reduce the attack surface of your IoT infrastructure
- Detect and nullify idle entry points on your field gateways, devices, and back-end systems.
- Deactivate idle services, actuators, device sensors, or their idle functions.
- Deactivate idle functionality or unprotected-by-default configurations in your dependencies.
- Employ the minimum possible amount of dependencies, like third-party network services and libraries.
- Use secure-by-default configurations across your IoT infrastructure.
- Only include well-managed dependencies and create a mechanism to keep them current.
- As your IoT infrastructure evolves, frequently review and detect attack surface reduction opportunities.
Prevent unnecessary data storage, transmission, and access.
- Determine and group data collected across your IoT infrastructure and study their associated business use case.
- Identify and deploy opportunities to avoid the collection of unused data or modifying their retention time and granularity.
- Opt to use one-way cryptographic hashing and tokenization wherever specific data is not needed in its entirety.
- Opt to use asymmetric cryptography to secure data at rest on your IoT devices and devices that only account for temporarily gathering and batching data and intermittently sending the data to other systems for processing.
- Only keep and submit data to central systems with strict ownership and strong security controls.
- Adhere to the rule of least privilege in allowing access to any gathered data.
- Determine and evaluate the unique functionalities of your IoT devices. This could comprise actuation, mobility, collection and transmission of sensory data, and ownership transfers that affect your legal and regulatory compliance.
- Examine the transparency and privacy expectations of your clients and similar legal requirements in the areas of your manufacturing, distribution, and operation of your IoT systems and devices.
Track susceptibility disclosure and threat intelligence sources
- Stay updated about revealed susceptibilities, adversarial tactics, techniques, and processes used in current attack campaigns and evaluate their effect on your IoT ecosystem security.
- Compare information from threat intelligence and susceptibility disclosures with metadata, configuration, and events from your IoT infrastructure. By doing this, you can detect any patterns of involvement or misuse of your IoT ecosystem with respect to ongoing adversarial tactics.
- Establish a susceptibility disclosure scheme for your IoT solutions to drive interaction with security researchers and their amenable disclosure of possible security challenges.
This article has elaborated on some of the most useful IoT security best practices for safeguarding your IoT ecosystem. We hope this post is useful in guiding you in your endeavors to secure your IoT devices, the data that they collect, and the connectivity of your IoT devices.
By leveraging on these AWS IoT devices, we guarantee you will achieve end-to-end protection for your IoT solutions. Observing IoT best practices remain the most effective way to maintain IoT security.