Glad you could join us again on our journey to understanding the Internet of Things and everything that it encompasses. Today we’ll be talking about what security means in a world where everything is connected, but if you haven’t read our introduction to the IoT by Luther Core, we suggest you do that by clicking here before you go on.
The internet of things has come into popularity in recent years due to the increasing amount of devices that are now equipped with network connectivity, allowing anything from a television to a wine decanter to connect and exchange data within a dedicated system.
Reliable and secure connectivity among all of these devices, and ultimately, your control of them is made possible when a few things are set in place:
A Solid Network
First and foremost, when choosing what kinds of devices you will bring into your home and include in your systems, you always want to make sure that both the equipment and the team installing it are of the utmost quality and caliber, so as to reduce mishaps and failures. To even further mitigate any interruption in your connection, it is also recommended to have redundancy in your network, both hardware and external.
Among the pieces of equipment, you can duplicate are online battery backups, hosts (the brain of the smart home system), routers, and network switches. Having redundancy in these systems, if a malfunction ever occurs with any of these devices, its auxiliary could automatically take over and keep the system running without you ever noticing there was a problem. Additionally, having two different internet service providers will also reduce and mitigate any downtime, and ultimately, any unwanted intrusions.
A Reliable Connection – Wired vs. Wireless
When it comes to building a network, we have the option of connecting your devices via wired or wireless protocol, and both of these come with their advantages. Wired connections will usually provide the highest degree of performance as they cannot be interfered over the air by other devices of which you have no control over.
Similarly, wireless connections have certain advantages, mainly security protocols of Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA, WPA2, and the recently announced and highly anticipated WPA3, which will feature individual encryption for each user) that restricts intruder access through encryption and authentication. Both of these options can be facilitated and maintained by a trusted team to install and monitor your system.
An Impregnable Firewall
A firewall provides a layer of protection between the internet and your network. In other words, it is a virtual infrastructure that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic, allowing the desirable information in, and creating a barrier for the untrusted. A typical home router includes a built-in firewall, and most computers now have firewall software included as well. While they inhibit unwanted intrusions into your system, firewalls are also capable of monitoring such interruptions, allowing remote diagnostics and management from a dedicated team.
IoT authentication provides the means Internet of Things devices to be authenticated by users which may include the management of more than one user of a single device, like a connected vehicle. These authentication methods can range from the use of a simple and static password or PIN number to a more complex method like digital certificates, two-factor authentication, or biometrics. While many networks rely on authentication processes that require a human to enter a credential, some IoT authentication processes, like embedded sensors, for instance, are machine-to-machine based and require no human intervention.
IoT encryption refers to the processes of encrypting static data or data that travels between IoT edge devices and connected back-end systems. Through the use of standard cryptographic algorithms, data is protected and any attempts by hackers to retrieve data is prevented. Cryptographic algorithms are used because the use of regular processes and protocols of encryption is limited by the number of various IoT connected devices and hardware profiles. In addition, the IoT encryption process must also be accompanied by the use of a full encryption key lifecycle management process of equivalent strength.
If you have any questions on IoT or how else you can make sure you have a secure network installed at home, feel free to give us a call or reach out to us on social media.