Tying the IoT Security Loose Ends

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Tying the IoT Security Loose Ends

With Industrial IoT devices increasingly exponentially, security has to be bolstered with DHCP, NAT, and other customized security protocols

Until recently Industry leaders believed that IoT sensors are placed on an air-gapped network and can automatically counters safety threats. Today, the devices are causing a plethora of security concerns even though they are becoming abundant and cheaper to leverage and maintain.

The massive amounts of IoT data sent to data scientist banks in the public cloud is a security problem. With the increase in the number, especially in the industrial environment, the devices are also becoming less personalized.

Security experts reckon that industrial IoT sensors now strongly require specialized routing. It would have the potential to provide segmentation along with security across the WAN or a public network.

However, it is necessary to segregate IoT devices from the rest of the traffic because the devices carrying propriety data cannot be left at risk. While the process control traffic is crucial for maintaining operations, IoT traffic is mostly just data. Separating the two will protect each of their capability, and one device’s problem will not affect the other.

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If left unseparated, the data mixed with other traffic in the network will create further security issues, and customized security required for IoT traffic data protection will nearly be impossible. Additionally, IoT sensors require specialized routing for traffic engineering, load balancing, and redundancy. These aspects are responsible for the value efficiency, productivity, and uptime of the network. Meanwhile, several industrial applications add sensors to their process controls. Here, as the network holds the maximum sensors, it is used to control all crucial processes.

IoT devices that require IP addresses acquire it by using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). When there are too many devices, experts recommend edge routing equipment to isolate the IP address requests by handling them locally with a secure source Network Address Translation (NAT).

The devices can use NTP, DNS, or other network services to acquire information. While the protocols are not secure, the information should be guaranteed with security. For these purposes, experts recommend secure relay services. Localized DNS resolution for IoT endpoints can also be beneficial.

Called the initiators of all communication, these IoT devices should be invisible and untraceable. Companies should leverage a router that can understand the server communications to achieve invisibility. However, some low-cost IoT devices are incapable of high-level encryption, and for them, high-grade router equipment will do the needful. The system will be able to authenticate and encrypt IoT data flows from the sensors to the data centers.

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Certain IoT devices need power from Ethernet switches. Experts recommend a single management control plane to manage these devices on Wi-Fi, wired, or secure edge routers. On the other hand, some devices produce excess data, which calls for pre-processing. Here, it is recommended to use smart edge routing that can reside with the containers for data processing applications.

Can AI be of any aid? When a company strategy includes a massive IoT network, security leaders suggest using AI to automate maintenance and control. From bad cables to inoperative IoT sensors, AI technology can be part of the industry strategy to bridge the IoT security gap.

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