Edge Insights

Is IoT Now An Internet of Threats?

Securing IoT devices is a challenge in itself for several reasons. As pressure is put on manufacturers and innovators to roll out new products, security is often given a lower priority than time-to-market metrics. Many businesses are also unaware of the vulnerabilities that IoT presents, and are often more focused on the cost savings and convenience that IoT has to offer. Further with 5G at the horizon, edge computing is slated to give a full-throttle impetus to IoT. Edge computing brings computing workloads and data storage back to internet-enabled local devices.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become ubiquitous. Insights derived from data collected from connected devices are being used across industries to enhance productivity, solve problems and create new business opportunities and operational efficiencies. But there are also risks. Security was an afterthought for many early generation IoT applications, creating vulnerabilities in the network and the potential for industrial process interruption, manipulation or espionage. But the Internet of Things cannot become simply the internet of threats. Industry and utilities companies, in particular, need to develop new strategies to mitigate and manage cyber-risks.

To deliberate on the trends, challenges, and solutions around IoT Cybersecurity TechCircle organised a fireside chat in their recently concluded digital conclave Future of Trust As A Service powered by Sophos where industry experts and torchbearers deliberate on the future of cybersecurity, its implementation, challenges, and solutions, thus carving a roadmap for the future. The fireside chat on the Internet of Threats: IOT was between Sunil Sharma, Managing Director - Sales (India & SAARC), Sophos and Shalil Gupta, CBO, Mosaic Digital, an HT Media Group Company. 

IoT solutions span information technology (IT), operational technology (OT) and consumer technology (CT) functions. Deploying IoT technologies at a faster pace than they are secured can open organizations to dangers greater than negative public sentiment. Attackers are always on the lookout for new ways to penetrate organizations’ networks and gain access to systems and sensitive data stores. Hence organisations need to be pre-emptive in their approach and how to build a secure environment to counter these attacks. An incomplete understanding of the risks posed by IoT deployments, coupled with a lack of a formal IoT security program contributes to the gap between IoT adoption and the capabilities in place to secure it. IT-centric security frameworks and organizational structure are often not adequate to address the reliability and predictability needs of always-on IoT equipment. Sunil Sharma quoted, "employees these days are not working in the office, and each user has become today a branch and hence, at the endpoint, people do not just need to look at a simple preventive kind of security, but absolute detection, and with the detection, there is a report which is being generated. Someone needs to understand that report, and accordingly, also needs to, enable them to respond quickly and efficiently." 

Sunil Sharma further added "the need of the hour is that all CSOs and CIOs who are experiencing and who are going through these rapid changes, and dynamism need to have a dashboard, which gives them updates of every minute, every second on their mobile phone, or their laptop or any other device and wherever they want to log in from. It should be able to give them a complete report about all threats, and that is only possible by automation."

Shalil Gupta quoted "we always deployed security from a technology lens. The ideal approach would be to back technology with the business requirement being at the heart of every decision. And that was the divergence we see with the new architecture coming in place with the trust coming in place. And therefore we set the future of trust as a service because it's the convergence of technology and business coming together. And it cannot be taken apart, because that's the way people should be thinking." 

For more details on this fireside chat and other key insights on the security landscape, visit futureoftrust.techcircle.in