Data Security and Data Privacy… Do You Know What You Don’t Know?


Data Security and Data Privacy is not only complex, but it’s something that any company using digital technology needs to take seriously, because the penalties for security breaches or unauthorized access to customers’ private information can be catastrophic, both financially and to brand reputation. 

While there’s no such thing as ‘IoT security’ as a separate discipline, the hyper-connected IoT world makes everything about data security and data privacy even more confusing. Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you navigate the treacherous waters of IoT data security and data privacy. 

Know the Rules and Regulations 

The European Union tends to have the toughest data privacy regulations. If you aim to meet their criteria, you will likely be in good shape for other regions. Even if you don’t plan to sell products in Europe or do business there directly, you can’t assume that EU data privacy regulations are of no importance to your business. For one thing, there’s always a chance that data from your connected products, or their users, could find its way to someone in the EU country. Regardless of where your company is located or how that personally identifiable information (PII), might move, play it safe by playing by the most stringent regulations.

Practice Basic Security Hygiene 

Providing data security is not the area where you want to innovate or try to differentiate your company from the competition. Practice good security hygiene by sticking with data security standards in your IoT implementations. The easiest way to do this is by working with established, proven IoT platform technology that’s based on industry standards for data security and data privacy.

Embrace ‘Connectivity’ as a Part of Your Product 

All the benefits of the IoT derive from connectivity. But connectivity also introduces security risks that unconnected products never faced. When your connected products join the IoT, they generate data that travels over the public network. The data (could be confidential or personal) becomes subject to the same potential for hacking, compromise, and mischief as if it were generated by any Internet-connected smartphone or laptop.

Work to Earn Your End Users’ Trust 

Data security measures need to work 100% of the time to protect data! When end users purchase and install your IoT products, they expect that you will have safeguards in place to protect their data, especially their PII. Comply with various rules and regulations, to protect your data, maintain your brand reputation and earn your customers’ trust. 

Don’t Overlook the ‘Things’ 

It’s estimated that tens of billions of products are either already part of the IoT or will join soon. That’s a huge number of data-generating devices and connections that need to be protected. Keep data security and data privacy concerns in mind from the beginning of your product design process, all the way from the embedded chip level through your ongoing maintenance and support efforts. 

Understand That Security is a Process 

Delivering IoT data security is not a one-time event, it is a constant effort that must respond to new threats as they emerge. You need to take a flexible approach to data security and data privacy. Be able to update the security of your IoT products already deployed in homes or workplaces. If that sounds daunting, all the more reason to turn to an IoT platform with built in security and privacy measures. 

Choose Your IoT Platform Wisely 

In the IoT, security must extend seamlessly from the connected product to the cloud to the web or mobile application that controls the product and even into your own company’s controls and views of the information you collect. IoT data security must also extend into the future, able to respond to changing or proliferating threats. Most product manufacturers don’t have the in-house expertise in the disciplines required to accomplish all this. 

For that reason, it’s best to work with an IoT platform that supports security standards and has strong data security and data privacy expertise. To give your IoT products the best possible security footing, choose a comprehensive, specialized IoT platform that provides end-to-end, integrated technology. Make sure it embodies the standard approaches to security that arose in IP-based networks. An IoT platform should be able to apply and coordinate its security approach at a granular level all the way from connected product to cloud to mobile app, including everywhere data might travel throughout the IoT realm. 

Partner with Ayla Networks for a complete IoT platform with managed cloud services, enabled networking hardware to connect devices to the Ayla cloud, Mobile Application libraries, and a full suite of business intelligence and reporting services. Ayla’s agile IoT platform abstracts the complexities of developing connected devices, so you can focus on what you do best. Ayla is solving the Internet of Things so you don’t have to!

Remember the Bigger Picture: IoT Data = the Gold! 

As the IoT market grows in size and sophistication, it will become clearer that the real value—the gold of the IoT—lies in the data generated by connected products. Increasingly sophisticated IoT data analytics will allow manufacturers to tap into real-world end-user needs and wants, as demonstrated through people’s actual usage of connected products. By acting on this data, manufacturers can provide the features and add-on services that customers really want—and that they are willing to pay for. For end users, the gold of the IoT will take form as the greater convenience, comfort, health, and well-being.

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