Logging the Data from IoT Devices Securely

Create: 10/12/2015 - 13:00

Mobile technology isn’t just about phones anymore. Devices incorporate the technology to be portable and controllable from afar for what is referred to as the “Internet of Things (IoT).” Some tout IoT as the next revolution of the Internet as connected devices communicate in real-time and can make faster decisions than any human. 

Smart homes aren’t so far in the future now, and wearables have already taken off to monitor health and fitness, among other human activity. Within the retail market, retailers are now challenged to meet customers at their mobile devices as the first point of contact for marketing and customer service, for example. Mobile POS (point of sale) systems help deliver the mobile experience and mobile payments are predicted to gain momentum to round out the experience. The result? Droves of data are collected to be sorted and analyzed to inform retailing strategy for buying and pricing items, as well as providing a tailored customer experience. 

All of that information becomes the crown jewels of a company; therefore, education about IoT security should be top of mind for the company’s executives. No longer relegated to the security or IT managers, retail executives need more than an overview of where data from IoT goes and the backend processes supporting data security. 

Where does all that data go? 
The devices or things collect data and share it with other devices or systems using either Wi-Fi or other existing networking technology. The goal is to bring intelligence into everyday activities and enable faster decision making. This will bring tremendous automation to business and people’s lives, but generate large amounts of data that will need to be securely stored and processed. 

Data is stored in databases, information management systems or file repositories. As someone runs a report or otherwise extracts the data, it should be encrypted as soon as it comes out of the system; in the case of information inside a file, it should be encrypted as soon as it’s created. 

How is my company protecting all of that data? 
There are no clear guidelines, laws or regulations to secure data collected from things. Gartner predicts that close to 25 billion devices will collect and transmit data by the end of the decade. If the data is not protected and its access controlled, hackers and insider theft could violate privacy rules, commit fraud and potentially cause catastrophic damage. Using a persistent data-centric approach to encrypt and protect this mountain of data guarantees that only authorized users can access the information, minimizes the potential for data breaches and misuse, and helps you comply with current and proposed data security regulations. 

The system should apply persistent security policies automatically that control access and remain with it regardless of location. This guarantees that if someone steals the information or has other unauthorized access, they can’t misuse it. With all the recent cyberattacks, it’s evident that nation-sponsored groups, independent hackers, terrorists and other bad actors will eventually come after this data. 

Smart Measures for Smart Things 
The goal of IoT is to bring intelligence into everyday activities and enable faster decision making. The future looks promising for the automation it will bring to simplify business and people’s lives, but so is the potential for data breaches and misuse. If you collect or process data gathered from internet devices, you should examine how to protect and control this growing amount of data. Use a data-centric approach to ensure that you always control access to the data. That guarantees only authorized users can access the information and that you will comply with current and proposed regulations around data security.

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Ron Arden

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