IoT Device Security and Management

As Internet of Things (IoT) device adoption grows rapidly across all industry verticals, IoT device security solutions help to protect these devices — which have access to sensitive data and perform valuable functions — against attack. Centrally managing this IoT security and unifying both IoT and IT security management reduces management complexity, and also provides greater visibility into threats that are targeting an organization.

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The Importance of IoT Device Security

IoT devices are rapidly redefining the face of the corporate network. Internet-of-Things promise to significantly increase visibility into operations and improve productivity. Connecting these IoT devices to an organization’s network enables organizations to automate and centralize IoT management, including across remote sites.

However, IoT devices pose significant security risks both to their owners and to others. If compromised by an attacker, an IoT device can be used to move laterally in the network or can become a bot for larger malware campaigns to attack other connected Internet devices using credential stuffing, DDoS, and other automated attacks.

IoT security is vital to protecting these devices against compromise. By closing commonly-exploited attack vectors, they alleviate many of the security risks posed by these useful devices.

IoT Device Security Risks and Challenges

IoT devices are notorious for their poor security, which results in data breaches and compromised devices being inducted into botnets. Some of the main security risks and challenges associated with these devices include:

  • Lack of Security Best Practices: In the rush to get products to market, IoT devices may not be designed using security best practices, e.g. using default credentials or using libraries with unpatched dependencies. As a result, these devices are often vulnerable to exploitation.
  • Internet Connectivity: Direct Internet connectivity is often a requirement for IoT devices. Without security solutions in place to monitor and secure this traffic, these devices are publicly visible from the Internet and can be automatically identified and compromised by attackers.
  • Limited Management: IoT devices are commonly deployed in remote locations or without the knowledge of corporate IT staff and suffer from “out of sight, out of mind” security challenges. Deploying updates and patches to these unmanaged devices leaves them vulnerable to exploitation.

Types of IoT Device Security

IoT device security can be implemented in a couple of different ways. IoT consumers can deploy network-level security solutions, while IoT manufacturers can integrate embedded IoT security into the devices themselves.

1. IoT Network Security

IoT network security solutions are deployed by IoT users to secure their IoT infrastructures. By routing traffic to and from IoT devices through a network security appliance, IoT device owners can monitor and manage traffic to their devices. With a deep understanding of IoT protocols and threats, IoT network solutions can identify and block attempted exploits before they reach vulnerable IoT devices.

2. On-Device Embedded Security

Embedded security can be integrated into IoT devices by their manufacturers. Embedded IoT security is installed within the firmware of IoT devices and provides runtime protection of these devices against cyber threats. Firmware IoT security uses instrumentation to monitor the state of binaries on the device as they run. This deeper visibility enables firmware security solutions to identify and remediate attempted attacks based on anomalous behavior by the monitored binary, identifying and preventing even novel IoT exploits.

IoT Device Security Management

IoT devices are designed to be centrally-managed devices deployed at the network edge. Their built-in processing power and network connectivity enable efficient, scalable monitoring and management of IoT security infrastructure.

Embedded IoT agents can be designed to connect over the network to a master controller responsible for collecting log information, communicating with cloud-based infrastructure, and sending commands to on-device agents. This enables security to be centrally monitored and managed while minimizing the impacts on resource-constrained IoT devices and embedded security agents.

Key capabilities of centralized IoT device security management, include:

  • Software updates
  • Policy management
  • Security and asset intelligence
  • Cross-device analytics
  • Event log and telemetry collection

Achieving IoT Security with Check Point

Check Point’s Quantum IoT Protect Embedded provides IoT device manufacturers with the tools that they need to effectively secure their Internet-connected smart devices. Quantum IoT Protect offers three layers of protection, including:

  • Hardening and Workload Protection: Integrated standalone workload protection evaluates and hardens firmware against known and unknown threats.
  • Access Control: Access control policies can be centrally managed in the cloud and are enforced on-device by Nano-Agent, which uses AI to manage network traffic while minimizing false positives.
  • Network Threat Prevention: Virtual patching enables the rapid distribution of security updates to block attempted exploits, providing developers with time to develop, test, and deploy updates.

IoT devices face new and growing security challenges in 2022 and beyond. Learn more about the IoT threat landscape in this report. Then, find out how Quantum IoT Protect Embedded can help by downloading this datasheet. And if you want to learn about the security risks that your IoT devices are facing, feel free to sign up for a free IoT firmware risk assessment and a demo of Quantum IoT Protect Embedded today.

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