For years, smartphones have been the epicenter of innovative technology. Is the torch being passed to IoT? If you ask consumers and enterprises alike, the answer is yes.
You can expect there to be up to 5.8 billion enterprise and automotive IoT devices in use by the end of 2020, with the adoption of utility IoT devices increasing 17% over the previous year. By 2022, the North American IoT market is expected to reach $500 billion. As businesses and their clients get comfortable with the Internet of Things, we’re likely to see the same explosion of new and ingenious IoT products as we did with smartphones.
However, along with the benefits and value IoT devices provide, they are also uniquely vulnerable to cyberattacks. Fraud and cybercrime is on the rise in 2020, according to security researchers and as many as 57% of IoT devices may be vulnerable to medium or high severity attacks.
For consumers, this combination may mean loss of privacy, as in the case of an incident in Singapore where hackers stole private home security camera footage and distributed it online. For enterprises and corporations, a compromised mission-critical IoT device can have serious and even life-threatening consequences.
Why IoT devices are vulnerable—and why you should care
What is it that makes IoT devices more vulnerable and attractive to attackers than servers, routers, or other types of endpoint devices? One major factor is the lack of standardization and regulation around IoT security. Moreover (and unlike smartphones), many IoT devices lack the hardware capacity needed to support robust cybersecurity applications. Human error also contributes, amplified by the relative unfamiliarity of IoT technology on behalf of many end-users and operators.
The other consideration is that IoT devices connected to sensitive or critical operations (and confidential data) in a corporate, industrial, or security context can represent extremely high-value targets for some bad actors. Attacks by sophisticated and professional cybercriminals bear the potential for highly costly or dangerous consequences.
In addition to the predictable loss of profits and privacy, breaches to IoT devices may land businesses in hot legal waters. California enacted legislation in 2019 that requires “reasonable security features” to be installed in all IoT devices, and the UK has proposed a similar law.
Top 19 IoT security solutions
Unique vulnerabilities require different solutions. When it comes to connected Internet of Things devices, protection requires a combination of detection, prevention and mitigation solutions across multiple layers.
We’ve chosen the best providers for IoT network and device security for 2021 to help you build your IoT device security tech stack.
Offices, data centers, and other facilities outfitted with IoT networks can secure their devices against hostile traffic and attempted breaches with Palo Alto Networks’ IoT security solution. It dubbs itself a turn-key package that includes both hardware-based and virtual firewalls, device identification tools, and other tools designed to provide visibility and protection for unmanaged IoT devices.
FirstPoint is uniquely focused on protecting cellular IoT devices from attacks that originate from within the cellular network or that communicate through the cellular network, which it does through a device-agnostic agentless security solution. This helps mobile network operators secure vulnerable cellular-connected devices from the unique threats faced by IoT devices on cellular networks – including private LTE & 5G networks.
Trustwave offers managed IoT security that analyzes your network for weak points in connected devices and the servers, APIs, and cloud services that interact with them. This enables network administrators to deploy quick fixes and prepare for potential attacks ahead of time, instead of finding out about vulnerabilities only after a successful breach occurs.
Offering device-based protection for industrial IoT deployments, NanoLock aims to block malware, ransomware, denial-of-service attacks, and other cyber threats. Designed to protect devices linked to critical infrastructure, including water and energy utilities, this hardware-level solution acts as a Flash memory gatekeeper to prevent malicious access to critical code.
Critical assets in industries like healthcare, utilities, and manufacturing are the focus of Armis’s agentless device security solution. By starting with a complete inventory of connected assets, Armis can then scan all data traffic to and from these devices. Armis processes all this traffic to subsequently identify vulnerabilities, execute automated security policies, and provide continuous monitoring on both managed and unmanaged devices.
This security solution offers cellular and RF threat remediation by detecting, analyzing, and classifying the devices connected to your network and giving you the tools to take the actions needed to protect yourself. Well-suited to providing device security within a specific and contained location, Bastille makes it easy to enforce no-phone policies and other physical security measures.
The physical intersections between IoT devices and human operators are frequent sources of accidental malware infections and other security breaches. Broadcom addresses this with solutions designed to scan and protect USB connections and other vulnerable interfaces. Being on both state-of-the-art deployments as well as older, legacy systems pose unique challenges.
Protected Sessions provides data security for endpoints and gateways across any type of network through a library installed locally on the IoT device. It integrates with all major IoT cloud providers and provides industry-standard encryption to secure your data in transit across private and public networks.
Trusted Objects creates unique digital identities for devices connected to your IoT cloud network. This allows you to protect those devices against both physical and cyberattacks with a combination of proven technologies and advanced security features.
Overwatch gives you active threat mitigation in real-time for all devices connected to your IoT network. Created to be scalable for use with automotive and consumer devices as well as utilities and industrial IoT, this solution uses an algorithmically-based threat assessment tool to provide immediate proactive warnings about potential dangers. With an agent installed on both the IoT device and gateway servers, Overwatch offers an API to connect to threat assessment and mitigation tools.
For airports, banks, corporate campuses, and other facilities with IoT networks that are critical to their operations, SecuriThings’ Horizon solution lays the groundwork of essential protection against malware, botnets, brute force attacks, internal sabotage, and other threats. Horizon offers endpoint risk detection, predictive monitoring and maintenance, as well as automated mitigation to minimize disruptions and costly downtime. Horizon pulls data from each edge device through software agents or agentless modules then scans the incoming and outgoing data to detect abnormal behaviors.
Designed to improve reliability and reduce the operational costs of your IoT system, SensorHound’s suite of products offers automated monitoring for IoT networks and client devices. It traces software failures and intrusions, monitors cloud deployments, and provides forensic diagnostics for every node on your network.
13. Tempered Airwall
Hospitals and other facilities in need of strong, easy-to-implement IoT network security have a flexible and user-friendly solution in Tempered’s Airwall, which can deploy across physical, remote, cloud, or virtual networks. With trusted identities and permission controls, you can enforce security policies that effectively prevent unauthorized access attempts.
Vdoo specializes in integrated device security customized to your industry, whether that’s industrial, medical, MNO, utilities, or corporate. Vdoo automatically generates an embedded runtime agent to deploy onto the IoT device that provides threat mitigation capabilities without requiring any modification of existing device code. By proactively detecting vulnerabilities and automating your security processes, Vdoo reduces the chances of hackers and bots causing harm to your operations.
The Atonomi Network’s IoT security solution is blockchain-based. It works by providing immutable identities for network assets and tracking the reputations of connected devices, ensuring safe and secure transactions across platforms. Atonomi can be used for small-scale applications such as smart cars or homes as well as larger ones like healthcare systems and industrial facilities.
Designed for use in hospitals, CyberMDX protects healthcare IoT assets with inventory management, vulnerability research, and operational analytics that proactively identify threats and anomalies. With healthcare establishments under relentless threat from ransomware attacks, solutions like this can prevent bad actors from gaining a foothold through IoT endpoint devices.
Another solution created with healthcare facilities in mind is Cynerio. It protects IoT networks by providing inventory and network visualization tools as well as risk detection that takes into account the specific regulations and architecture of healthcare systems. This flexible solution can protect patient information and other sensitive data against persistent attackers.
Because of their reliance on sophisticated technology and the uniquely sensitive data they deal with, healthcare IoT networks have a wealth of options when it comes to security solutions. Medigate offers network-level monitoring and threat response built to combat today’s newest and most sophisticated threats.
A scalable, embedded solution that prevents attacks in real-time, Sternum grants protection down the source code level to stop cyberattacks aimed at enterprises and manufacturers. This embedded protection has a high rate of success at stopping attacks and allows for seamless visualization and device tracking.
Securing devices across an IoT network may present new challenges and complications, even for seasoned cybersecurity teams. Because of the unique vulnerabilities of IoT devices and the devastating consequences that can follow a breach, these challenges must be met. With a comprehensive strategy backed up by the right tools, you can build an effective defense against the threats that a mission-critical IoT system needs to be able to withstand.
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