IoT, as we know it today, allows us to make our lives easier — but it is not 100% secure. It can be hard to understand why it’s so difficult to come up with a comprehensive cybersecurity standard for IoT. After all, if we can create this technology, we should be able to keep it secure.
In theory, yes. However, in practice, there are many challenges that cybersecurity experts need to overcome first. Here are some common problems of implementing an IoT security standard that would make IoT devices more secure:
Challenges Encountered by Generic Security
Generic security encompasses all of the common cybersecurity mechanisms we use to keep our devices safe. However, these processes — authentication, access control, and identification — face an increasing strain to accommodate all of the different use contexts and systems that IoT devices are developing. To make this process easier, we need more procedures and policies that would address the complexity of the current IoT situation.
Vulnerable Legacy Systems
IoT is expanding rapidly, even into legacy industrial systems, as it helps make them more efficient. However, this creates only a partially trusted environment, as system operators tend to neglect thorough risk assessments and addressing vulnerabilities. It comes from a lack of methodologies that would help them accomplish this fast enough to still keep pace with the overall demand. Even with the risk of cybersecurity breaches, for these professionals, it doesn’t pay off to worry about security unless something happens.
Human Factor of IoT Security
The human factor is often neglected by IoT developers who don’t always account for all the possible ways in which their devices can be used. It is not the only consequence of a lack of a human-centric approach to IoT development, but it is one of the most common ones. However, to implement it, we need a better understanding of how people use the devices and make it more intuitive for them to follow best security practices.
Different Sectors Have Different Priorities
Finally, different sectors have different priorities, based on the IoT devices they find their growth on. For the automotive industry, that’s the production of connected and autonomous vehicles — so the priority is to come up with a way to protect those systems. Medicine focuses on different types of IoT devices — from implantable devices and wearables to devices storing patient medical history. And let us not forget the growing trends of smart home systems or appliances.
All of these devices and industries have their host of security issues, and a comprehensive cybersecurity standard might not even work as well as intended for some of them. However, making steps towards it is still going in the right direction to ensure the security of all IoT devices.
The key to overcoming most of these challenges lies in increasing awareness of IoT developers and manufacturers by providing them adaptable frameworks simple to integrate into the life-cycle development process. To reduce the risks of having cybersecurity attacks, basic or substantial levels of security evaluation must be conducted on all of our connected devices before issuance in addition to having an overarching system of regulations in place to tackle the best practices of resilience and safety.