Best Practices for IOT Security in Product Design

Today’s businesses and homes, alike, are mostly digital. Each device we rely upon is connected–and each connection introduces a number of innovative, Internet-based opportunities.

These ‘smart devices’ make up what we call the Internet of Things, or IoT. Today’s leading IoT product providers have plenty to offer, in terms of diversity, but the sheer scope of the IoT introduces a big consideration: Security.

But what is an IoT device, anyway?

Advanced Technology and Advanced Security

To understand today’s expanding list of digital security needs, it’s important to understand just how far security risks can reach. The IoT isn’t going away, after all, making digital defense more important than ever. But why does IoT matter, in the first place?

Smart Devices for Smart Work

Mostly, it’s because today’s smart devices build the foundation of our homes. Commercial properties, meanwhile, often associate cybersecurity with anything and everything connected to the Internet. These ‘smart offices’ are high-tech, hybrid workplaces. They’ve made employees better, combining traditional employee experience with digital designs.

Some smart device examples include smartwatches, smart door locks, smart refrigerators and smart fire alarms. Together, these devices can greatly enhance a workplaces productivity. Not only can employees be monitored for greater optimization in teams, but their performance, individually, can benefit.

IoT Security and Product Design

Because IoT devices can connect a majority of in-house environments, workplaces that don’t meet quality standards can fall behind. More importantly, the era of the ‘Smart Office’ relies upon complete security—that which doesn’t forgo previously overlooked items, like smart lights and digitally empowered furniture.

Recent reports state that the small office market, digitally enabled, is growing. Within the next three years, it’s expected to reach approximately $57 billion in value. Because of this, security design is vital to a business’s success as an IoT product provider.

Protecting Your Products—and Your Users

‘Security by design’ is always a good mantra. Here, it’s best to secure your IoT products from an inside-out perspective. This approach assures that a company’s products aren’t simply meeting standards—but both uphold and lead with them.

This methodology unifies security, as a priority, on all stages of product creation, deployment, review and expansion. All too often, it’s included too late in the product design process. Today’s leading providers are finding out a new truth: That prioritizing safety, when the IoT is considered, is to prioritize speed.

Top Strategies for IoT Product Security

Because digital threats can arrive from any avenue, it’s important that an IoT product provider has a comprehensive security strategy. Different than traditional cybersecurity, which relies on software, IoT devices are impacted by the physical world.

For this reason, security risks increase: Not only does a connected product’s digital architecture need to be protected—but its physical architecture does, too. In most situations, secure connectivity can be the determining factor in a product’s success, market-wise.

To make an IoT-connected device truly secure, then, becomes a priority for most providers. Let’s take a look at the best ways to assure a product’s security—digitally, physically and for the long-term.

One: Consider Supply Chain Attacks

Regardless of an IoT product’s design, supply chain attacks are always a risk. A business should consider more than the individual device’s safety. They should also consider the device’s day-to-day environment. If a single IoT device fails—its entire supply chain becomes exposed, too.

The key is preparedness: Network defense preparation, alone, can deflect a lot of problems. This said, a smart device’s design should be able to withstand endpoint detection. Failure to do so, for some businesses, results in their later products suffering from the same strategies of cyber-criminals. So, why does IoT matter where the world of cybercrime, itself, is considered?

Two: Stay Up to Date with Tech News

To get the most out of your IoT devices’ security, you’ll need to be proactive about the implementation of new tech. While the design phase of each is important, so too is feedback considering your business’s product verification phase.

Industry technology is always evolving—and each innovation often results in new network IoT implementations. When newer devices featuring creative approaches to workplace usage emerge, so too do unsecured products become obsolete.

Three: Consider Your Product as ‘Always On’

Internet of Things products are unique in their ‘always on’ nature. This is what makes them such a powerful foundation: The world around us is changing, requiring constant protection and proactivity. IoT products, particularly household appliances, are still connected to the Internet when not being used. For this reason, your system’s cybersecurity should consider each to be an opening for cyberattack.

Here, maintaining a secure baseline Internet connection matters the most. When creating an IoT product, make sure it maintains a gateway connection’s safety—and doesn’t only withstand network risks. Your IoT product should be updated whenever new technology rolls out, and it should also be open to firmware upgrades.

Four: Evolve Design with Encryption

From an industry quality standpoint, technology incapable of maintaining effective data encryption standards don’t last very long. Even though most IoT products don’t handle extensive valuable data storage, they’re still capable, and rely upon, information processing. Most, in fact, store data as well.

For this reason, a product’s encryption keys, ID management tool and any data access tools need to be properly maintained. This means defense should be multi-layered, so that even an initial breach only exposes more protection beneath.

This means that all data should be encrypted—whether it’s to be stored within the device, in a connection’s gateway, a cloud platform or all three.

Five: Empower Device Synchronization

Robust encryption technology can protect an IoT product’s data defense, but we should remember that authorized devices and apps need to connect, still. So, a successful IoT device is one capable of exchanging unique, valid signature schemes. Because an individual IoT product’s security often relies upon its individual connections, each connection needs to be capable of protecting sensitive data—mitigating risks and identifying their causes, too.

Staying Secure with Product Creation

As you add new devices to your IoT product line, you’ll need to assure lifestyle security as much as possible. Cloud support is always a good resource to rely upon, and so are IoT security lifestyle management providers.

IoT products are quickly becoming one of the most profitable, Internet-based products around. While assuring your next product’s digital security isn’t terribly difficult, it will certainly require a keen eye for industry trends, consumer needs and hardware capabilities.

Today’s most advanced cybersecurity solutions can protect your entire environment’s IoT assets—but they’re also vital to a digital product provider’s long-term growth. So take pride in developing your next smart device—because advanced security solutions are always an option. By ensuring your device’s confidentiality, customers will trust it. By ensuring your brand’s integrity via customer trust, you’ll become a leading industry impactor.