Imagine what would happen if a solution that your company developed and sells was vulnerable to cyberattacks? What would the consequences be for your company? If you are currently developing an IoT solution for instance, and you're not wondering about this issue, you may face some severe problems in the future. And we'll tell you how you could avoid this from happening...
Ensuring every risk is correctly evaluated and sharing the results with your stakeholders is the first step. Why? Because, once all stakeholders agree upon every possible risk, your company has the proper basis for implementing security requirements. This approach doesn't mean you should go to extremes, assessing every risk to the point your solution is unhackable. This is both technically impossible, and it would blow your budget. What you need to perform is a smart cyber risk analysis tailored to the scope of application.
IoT Cybersecurity Risk Analysis
Cybersecurity risk analysis refers to the review of risks associated with a particular IoT project. It could cover a whole system which is the ideal use case, but usually covers partially the components. An IoT initiative typically relies on a very decentralized network of devices. These devices can be spread worldwide and are meant to stay in the field for a long time in some cases, with little to no onsite maintenance. Data stored on these devices can be compromised, and it should be considered if it's essential in the risk evaluation. Other characteristics that should be considered for risk analysis could include the following:
- Where are the devices located? indoor, outdoor? Are they accessible to the public? Can someone easily steal, tamper or damage them?
- The cost of maintaining in-field devices. Given the limited user interaction and the long device lifetime, it can be costly to maintain the devices;
- IoT solutions consist of numerous technologies and vendors. What are the vendor's security practices, and do they sufficiently cover your risks?;
- The security requirements that can be applied are dependent on the capacities of the devices and software.
How Can You Get Started with Cyber Risk Analysis?
First of all, you have to involve both the security risk-owner ordecision maker (Business Line, CISO, ...), who has to identify and evaluate applicable standards, regulations, decide the acceptable levels of risks, provide policies to follow and tools to implement security measures. It would help if you also assigned a Product Security Officer to address IoT security specifically in your company or even the security of a specific product.
Getting to an acceptable level of security requires expertise in numerous areas of the IoT solution. Your whole team needs to consider:
- End-to-end security on the technology stack, from chip to the cloud;
- End-to-end security from a device lifecycle perspective;
- Roles and Responsibilities of each party involved during the life-cycle;
- Evaluating the device and the whole technology stack;
- Drive conformity assessment and certification processes where applicable;
- Long-term security updates and maintenance,
- Vulnerability management, and
- Incident response organization.
Minimizing the risks of cyberattack in IoT is not an impossible concept to achieve. It is actually crucial to apply both methodologies and tools to help you achieve a secure landscape. This is an inevitable thing since stakeholders and customers demand secure products. Regulations for enforcing security and frameworks for aligning every actor regarding its duties are imminent and will continue to be applied. Now is the right time to get ahead if you want to make cybersecurity an asset for your IoT solution on the market.
We strongly recommend you to run efficient risk analysis taking into account the intended use and the threat model in the operational environement and apply at least the ETSI 303 645 security requirements baseline on your IoT product line.