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IoT is integral to the daily operations of millions of businesses globally, a trend that is expected to continue in the future too. According to a study, the cumulative amount of data collected by IoT devices for business purposes is expected to touch an incredible 73 ZB by 2025. In other words, nearly all businesses will digitize their operations, and connected IoT networks will be central to that transformation. As ever, with increased digitization, the prospect of data security attacks rises too. Therefore, issues with IoT gateway security deserve your attention.

 

 

 

What is an IoT gateway?

IoT gateways are physical or virtual devices or platforms that connect data-capturing IoT devices to cloud-based systems. In basic terms, gateways create a portal that connects IoT devices to the internet. They facilitate smoother edge computing in complex IoT networks (like the ones seen in smart cities or large ports). IoT gateways pre-process data that is collected from IoT data receptors such as sensors and computer vision cameras before the data is sent for conversion into intelligence in a cloud platform. The gateway also does the task of relaying the processed information back to the edge IoT device and speeding up tasks with this mechanism.

 

How can IoT gateway security be optimized?

Remote hackers may target such IoT gateways with man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, spoofing, data snooping, and similar other data security threats in an attempt to break the communication chain within an IoT network. This will affect the performance of the IoT network and cause avoidable business downtime phases. Here are a few ways in which such attacks can be avoided:

1)     Using verified IoT gateways

Like any other data security hardware tool or software application available in the market, there are several IoT gateway that involves poor-quality materials and technology. Moreover, such substandard IoT network gateway systems are not even compliant with the requisite data security standards applicable for cybersecurity tools. If businesses, in a bid to save expenses, end up buying such tools from shady vendors, they will simply increase the chances of exposing themselves to issues such as below-par data connectivity between their cloud-based systems and their IoT devices. What's more, the threat of IoT gateway attacks remains high with such fake, cheap systems. To avoid such scenarios, only authenticated, certified gateways must be purchased. There are many IoT gateway systems available in the market with verification certificates or labels that clearly specify that they comply with the necessary security regulations.

Moreover, while purchasing gateway systems, businesses must check if such devices sync seamlessly with the IoT devices they already have installed for their daily business operations. Smooth integration between the new gateways and existing IoT devices will ensure that there will not be any data security leaks or vulnerabilities caused due to syncing issues. Using authenticated gateways or security solutions is the most basic criteria to safeguard your business from external or internal cybersecurity threats.

 

2)     Employing a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a microprocessor-based data security solution that involves key generation and storage, passwords, cryptography, and a few other measures to provide hardware-driven data security to IoT gateways. This solution uses a combination of hardware and software to safeguard data that is supposed to travel through IoT gateways.

This solution, first and foremost, is used to optimize the ‘trust’ factor in IoT networks. The module is based on a trusted execution environment that facilitates the storage of data and credentials, as well as the execution of cryptographic operations with a view to secure IoT gateway data transfer operations.

Solutions such as TPM provide layered security to IoT networks through encryption and programmable data security and confidentiality architecture to create a solid defence against data security attacks. Such a platform is a viable solution to secure the communication chain involving IoT devices, cloud-based databases, as well as cloud-based tools used to perform intelligent analytics.

 

3)     Creating gateway security-driven governance policies

Apart from buying the right data security tools and hardware to protect IoT gateways, another solution involves implementing proper data security governance measures for the same purpose. For example, businesses can include specific strategies and plans for gateway security in their periodic security audits. Including gateway security-related tasks for periodic security, audits are necessary due to the sheer number of connected IoT devices present in organizations today. By including them in data security audits, businesses can keep track of their IoT asset inventory. In addition to data security, maintaining records of IoT devices also lets businesses know whether any device needs to undergo repairs or updates. After all, proactive patch device inspection and patch management are also an invaluable part of data security in businesses.

Additionally, businesses must also carry out periodic inspections of the Identity and Access Management (IAM) status for IoT gateways. Any user who does not need to access specific gateways should be prevented from doing so. This reduces the possibility of insider attacks on such gateways.

 

All these measures are proactive in nature as they enable businesses to build a formidable data security infrastructure to protect their IoT ecosystems. Apart from these solutions, businesses also need to have the necessary (and standard) data security tools and applications to foster the proactive nature of their data security infrastructure. GajShield’s data security tools and services can provide proactive solutions to businesses. Kindly contact us to find holistic solutions for the data security of your organization.

 

 

 

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