Standardization of security measures for the IoT is impractical, if not impossible, due to the incredible diversity of products connecting to the IoT, all with varying security needs. For instance, securing a connected water heater or thermostat is quite different from securing a connected baby monitor or fitness tracker.
Similarly, physical security will also need to be applied differently to the diversity of IoT products. The physical security solutions needed for an energy utility plant will not be the same as those used to secure a residential smart lock.
Manufacturers of IoT products must provide secure access management to their offerings, including authentication and authorization methods that control access to the IoT devices. Within homes, homeowners can beef up their network protocols to prevent unauthorized access to their smart home devices.
The manufacturers of IoT products, realizing that the success of their connected products hinges on the strength of their security, have also begun to understand that physical security must be integrated with cyber security in the Internet of Things.
Difference in Design
Many IoT product manufacturers are designing their IoT devices to be resistant to security breaches by using embedded security measures and extending their security measures from the device to the cloud to the mobile or web app used to control their IoT products.
In addition, manufacturers are working to minimize the amount of access that their IoT devices offer to hackers and criminals. Essentially, the physical security features for devices are becoming much smaller and much more precise. IoT devices are being built to withstand external tampering, as well as to report and monitor any changes that might signal a security breach.
Imagine if a device such as a smart lock were able to withstand physical attacks and also notify homeowners that their device was at risk of being breached. This not only enhances the security of these devices, but also gives consumers an advantage over hackers and criminals. Furthermore, companies that produce IoT products are looking to avoid any possible flaw that might result in a data breach. This goal is leading them to build more secure hardware for their devices, and to encrypt local storage that can be used to keep the IoT network more secure.
IoT has come far, but its full potential remains to be explored. The security measures in place for the IoT must secure the Internet of Things so that everyone can reap the benefits. As a result, the focus on security needs to be intensified, and physical security and cyber security must be made to work in tandem.
Physical IoT Security Takeaways
- Take measures to keep your IoT devices and hardware physically secure at all times.
- Ensure that your IoT devices—and the software applications you use to control them—stay up-to-date with the latest application versions, security standards, and necessary software patches.
- Protect your passwords and other codes that you use to access your devices. If these elements are not protected, your physical and cyber security protocols will be rendered meaningless.
Ralph Goodman is a professional writer and the resident expert on locks and security over at the Lock Blog . The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks, and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.