The Need of Cryptography in IoT (Internet of Things)
Find out why cryptography is important for the internet of things
Also, learn how to apply cryptography in your IoT projects
Table of Contents
The popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) is unquestionable; it is a growing trend and we are seeing it everywhere around us. Major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple are heavily investing in such utilities. These companies are trendsetters and they often define the future of technology. However, as with all technology IoT devices are also subject to criticism, mostly because of their ineffective security protocols. Similar to new tech in town, IoT also comes with its fair share of security bugs.
Unfortunately, as much as the problem is apparent, there is still a struggle to develop a solution and calls for cryptographic security solutions for the internet of things. A large number of companies that are manufacturing and working on IoT including smaller ones are creating their protocols. Since there are no set standards for IoT security, the diversity in these smart devices prohibits developers from coming up with large-scale security solutions.
IoT Security Challenges
The global market for the Internet of things reached an estimated $100 billion in 2017, and forecasts suggest that this figure will grow to around $1.6 trillion by the year 2025. The stats show the significant rise of IoT in the years to come but with the onset of popularity in IoT devices, security challenges become quite apparent too.
Some of the most common security challenges in IoT are as follows, which demands the need of cryptography in IoT per se:
- IoT manufacturers continue to build IoT devices with poor security standards such as weak password systems, vulnerabilities in hardware, lack of security updates, outdated operating systems, and lack of security protocols in data storage practices.
- Users still don’t know about the importance of security in IoT. Their ignorance and awareness can lead to irreparable damages.
- Lack of software security updates. Updates are of utmost importance for maintaining security or else it can result in insecure software prone to damage. Updates are necessary since they add a layer of security to devices and data.
- Not ensuring the physical security of IoT devices. They can easily be tampered with if found at a remote place unguarded.
- IoT devices are highly vulnerable to malware, ransomware, and botnet attacks.
Cryptography Techniques and Internet of Things
According to a research paper, since IoT connects and gives access to everything on the internet, it gathers all the data and the data generated by IoT devices known as big data is rapidly growing. This data is sensitive and vulnerable to risks.
Additionally, IoT devices have some limitations such as low power, less computational speed therefore traditional algorithms are not suitable for keeping the information secure. This is where cryptography comes in. It is one of the most talked-about ways through which IoT data can become safer.
Having said that, the need for cryptography in IoT is growing as it is a technique used to secure data over the internet. It encrypts the data using a key that can not be decrypted by a normal user.
Last but not the least, the applications of cryptography are everywhere which proves the need for cryptography in IoT as well. Financial institutions use it to protect our passwords, and the internet of things uses it to safely transmit the information in an online environment to authorize people and devices.
If cryptography stopped working for a day, online safety will cease to exist too. Bank transactions, internet traffic, cell phones, everything will come to a halt. Coming at a halt means, all of our private confidential information will be exposed to harm and exploitation. Therefore, Cryptography is an effective way to prevent this, only those who are intended can use the information, receive, access, or process it.
Tips for IoT Information Security
Keep All IoT Device Passwords Updated
It is necessary that the passwords of all devices stay up to date, changed now and then. This is one of the basic forms of information security that one can give to their smart-setup.
Unfortunately, as easy as this sounds most IoT devices are quickly becoming outdated as better protocols emerge from high-end manufacturers. These old devices have easy setup and more of a plug-and-run nature. One must realize that a ‘security free device that gains access to your Android or iOS can be a serious threat to your data.
Secure Your Networks
The second step is to investigate the security of the network your device is connected to. For individuals or average users, setting up a password-protected network is the basic step to protecting your network.
Passwords that long, contain alphanumeric, special keys, and capitalized letters are considered the best. One can even set up a guest account for visitors, eliminating further chances of unwanted approach towards your Internet of Things or the other devices.
A firewall, an electronic barrier around your network, is also an added way for network security. While OS offers its firewall, this hardly means that your network itself will stay protected. Placing a network firewall means that all the internet traffic (IoT or otherwise) will go through a secured gateway.
VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is another way for information encryption. However, setting up encryption through VPN on your network might be difficult, and will also make connection sluggish.
Remove Old IoT Devices
As mentioned earlier, newer devices coming to the market mean that they have better security protocols. The older IoT devices contain a range of information up for grabs, things that you have forgotten. The old security protocols can be accessed and tampered with, threatening your network ultimately.
Each device can be used as an access point, and the weaker/less secure it is, the riskier it becomes. One may consider disconnecting and replacing them with better ones.
While there are numerous other ways through which one can up its IoT security, the basic steps above are sufficient for end-users who value their information and privacy. The future of IoT seems bright and InvoZone works to develop one top IoT products using cryptograhy techniques.
Want to implement an excellent level of security in your Fintech product? Get in touch with us today.