The rapid growth in technology has ushered in a new era. And, it is the internet that is considered the mother of all inventions that is bringing about all the changes. The internet has connected people, machines, devices, every other thing that you can think of in this world. And, it is the concept of taking all the things in this world and connecting them to the internet which is known as the Internet of Things.
As explained by ZDNet editor Steve Ranger: “The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. Thanks to cheap processors and wireless networks, it’s possible to turn anything, from a pill to an aeroplane, into part of the IoT. This adds a level of digital intelligence to devices that would be otherwise dumb, enabling them to communicate without a human being involved, and merging the digital and physical worlds.”
Thanks to the IoT, several smart tools that have computing capabilities are now available in much smaller size, and are more affordable. Just a few years back, you needed a lot of money to computerize a business process, but that is no longer the case. All you need is a smartphone app to program and operate any number of automated processes in the home or office from any location.
According to Gartner, 8.4 billion connected items were in use globally in 2017, which is an increase of 31 percent over 2016 – with the figure expected to reach 20.4 billion by 2020.
But, despite the vast sea of opportunities that IoT has to offer, one issue of great concern is maintaining data security. With data theft on the rise, businesses need to protect their proprietary information and the information trusted to them by customers.
IoT, security and data encryption
The best way to protect your data is through encryption. Data encryption is based on complex algorithms known as ciphers (for example, blowfish encryption). The encryption method is the best way of keeping sensitive information secret because it processes readable data into long series of random or pseudo-random ciphers. It is practically impossible to decipher the information without using a special decryption key. In simple words, encryption algorithms scramble readable sensitive data into an unreadable format.
Currently, several IoT companies face major security issues because they don’t have data protection protocols in place. It is not possible for one specific solution to protect all IoT systems because different devices use different control platforms, servers, connectivity domains and protocols. Since the data is stored on servers, it is not possible to control everyone who has access to the data; hence encryption is used to protect and isolate data between users and companies, which ensures privacy and exclusivity of data.
Also, due to the proliferation of enterprise applications and cloud-based platforms, the question of IoT cybersecurity expertise has surfaced recently. It is not without reason that IT personnel are concerned about new security challenges threatening the interconnected grid of physical devices. Fixing the responsibility of who should protect the data should rest with all the partners – which include a CIO, an IT security manager, cybersecurity expert, cloud service provider and IoT solutions provider. After all, physical as well as digital security is essential to corporate security. And, without a doubt, IoT marks the convergence of physical security and cybersecurity.
IoT has a major effect on security with data encryption
There are multiple vulnerability points in the IoT. But, when addressed efficiently, these vulnerability points can turn into a source of strength. All the security partners in the IoT ecosystem should come together and use these connectivity points to solve the problems of members who communicate over the network.
The IoT is creating great opportunities, but the IT security providers have their task cut out for them. They should create barriers and frontiers between the physical and cyber world. And, there are many in the market now who cover you on both fronts.
The main security principles of IoT cyber security consist of the following: device intelligence, edge processing, device-initiated connections, messaging control, identification, authentication, and encryption and remote control and updates of devices. The aim is to secure the device (hardware), secure the communications, secure the cloud (for cloud safety and security – read our blog post, Cloud Based Encryption: How it Works & Why We Need It), and secure the lifecycle management.
With data encryption in place, it is not difficult to secure all your touchpoints and keep your data protected.
Once the security issues are addressed, the IoT has a lot to offer. It is already being used by the logistics industry for asset tracking, which has substantially reduced the costs and improved labor potential. The automobile sector has improved engines and other parts by tracking their performance in the overall system. Building management has been automated, which has helped facility management companies. Maintenance and operational costs have come down as a result of IoT solutions.
Heading off the threats
The opportunities IoT offers are unlimited, but only when you can secure your data with encryption.
There are now several smart devices available that can simplify business processes. But, it also means that new weaknesses in these processes are coming to the fore. This, in turn, means intruders and hackers have more touchpoints to access a security ecosystem which include physical as well as digital objects. As the number of connected devices, sensors, and apps increases, the risk multiplies exponentially.
In a world of interconnected systems, the importance of security becomes even more pronounced. When you consider the IoT as a network of systems where thousands of connections are formed due to the addition of new devices, apps and users, you can well imagine the consequences of a single security lapse. It can lead to a DDOS attack and other chain reactions that can bring down your business for days or even weeks at a time, put sensitive financial and other personal data in the hands of criminals and ruin your company’s valuable credibility. This is the reason data encryption is essential for the future of the IoT.
You can get in touch with eServe for data encryption services. We offer reliable data encryption solutions for businesses of all sizes and verticals. We make sure that your data remains secure and protected at all times so that you remain in control of your business. Contact us now for cloud-based document management and content encryption and distribution.