The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing three times faster than traditional IT, with the number of connected devices ballooning from 4.9 billion in 2015 to over 12 billion in 2020 [Cisco Systems]. These billions of endpoints include wearable devices, cars, electrical grids, and manufacturing facilities, to name a few, and collect sensitive data such as medical records, financial and banking data, and authentication credentials.
The collection of data across billions of devices is beneficial in many different ways, including increased efficiency, better insights, and cost savings. However, it also means that data is exchanged in ways that can expose it to bad actors who can use this treasure trove of information for ill intent.
One of the tried and true methods of protecting data is through encryption. IoT manufacturers should build encryption into their devices to maintain privacy, meet regulatory requirements, and safeguard the future of the interconnected Internet of Things.
On the surface, encrypting data on IoT devices seems like a no-brainer. However, implementing encryption properly means the difference between data staying secure or falling into the wrong hands. Some common best practices for deploying encryption in IoT devices include:
- Apply the right level of encryption based on the sensitivity of the data being transmitted. For example, use the strongest encryption for highly sensitive data and use a more lightweight encryption for anonymized data that doesn’t expose personal information.
- Store encryption keys in a secure key management system (KMS) that supports hardware protection, like Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs). Hardware protection offers an extra layer of security that is often built into modern servers, computers, and devices.
- Use public/private key cryptography, use unique keys per device, and avoid using “global” keys.
- Ensure data events are tracked through an audit log to detect abnormal behavior which could be a sign of hacking.
The evolving Internet of Things holds great potential to deliver a more connected and data driven world. But securing IoT devices is paramount to ensuring the benefits of a connected world aren’t subverted by bad actors that wish to exploit sensitive data. As part of a holistic data security strategy, encryption is a core element to ensure IoT devices stay secure.
Incorporating a key management system into your organization’s encryption infrastructure is vital to ensuring effective data security. StorMagic SvKMS is an encryption key management solution that allows you to manage all of your encryption keys, anywhere. It eliminates the pain of encryption, delivering enterprise-grade key management features, centralized management, and effortless administration, all at a surprisingly low cost. Interested in learning more? Visit our website and download a copy of our SvKMS data sheet for additional details.
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