Building Secure IoT Solutions: Key Considerations for Developers

    Building Secure IoT Solutions: Key Considerations for Developers

    Developers need to start thinking about the problems that could arise because there are so many connected devices

    Regarding the Internet of Things (IoT), developers need to pay more attention to the “things” or connected devices. By 2027, there will be more than 5 billion cellular IoT connections. The number is more than twice as many as there are now.

    As they build for the cloud and data centers, developers need to start thinking about the problems that could arise because there are so many connected devices.

    In this situation, managing many devices is getting harder and harder. Companies delivering IoT solutions will soon face the challenge of managing a large fleet of devices that must be updated, secured, and monitored.

    The situation comes with the usual problems of running production software on a larger scale, such as being unable to see what’s going on, devices running old software, devices with security holes that need to be fixed and stopped, and more. Also, devices often need help to get to fix bad updates.

    This means that groups of devices could be “bricked” if updated without a way to roll back. Considering the multiple components involved, there are specific essential factors that IoT developers should bear in mind.

    Real-time device monitoring

    When monitoring devices, it’s hard to see the big picture across many data points and still figure out what’s wrong with individual devices. IT teams can get a “big picture” view by applying metrics to groups of devices and combining the results with the metadata tags assigned to each device (or device groups).

    Adding “smartness” to the device agent, updated on the fly, can help find problems with a single device. The agent follows the rules that are given to it at runtime. For example, it could safely block suspicious behavior.

    Another problem is keeping an eye on devices that aren’t always connected. Usually, this is fixed by storing data on the device and streaming it to a monitoring server when the device gets back online. But this can also be a problem since many monitoring services don’t deal well with past events, which can be problematic when developers want to find issues as soon as possible. This issue can be solved with a gateway service set up near the devices and acts as a monitoring proxy.

    Protect data for as long as it exists

    Security needs to be thought about from the beginning by IoT companies, and data security means looking at how data is kept safe throughout its life. Security should be a focus when generating and collecting, or storing data. During this process, policies should be made and followed for the safe use of the data.

    Verify The Track Record of Any Data Storage Services

    A company needs to know where they keep the information about its customer. If a company needs internal tools to provide top-notch digital and physical security for its data, it can use outside services. But make sure that the company offering these services has a track record of keeping data security at a high level.

    Remote access and control

    When figuring out what’s wrong with a specific device, remote access is a great way to troubleshoot and debug. Most problems happen on multiple devices when something outside the device changes or a new version emerges.

    If monitoring data doesn’t give relevant and useful details, a developer needs to be able to access a troubled device and check what’s wrong with the device itself. When developers need remote access, this is the only way to do it, especially for devices that can’t reach any other way. It’s important to make remote access safe and easy for developers to use, such as by letting them connect through a web browser.

    Automation is the key to this whole process. It needs developers to make a fully automated software supply chain process so that devices need to be updated, monitored, and checked for security while running. This process is often a natural extension of the existing software supply chain process to build and distribute device software.

    Consider Vulnerabilities in the Device, Network, and Backend System

    There’s no particular way that works for everyone. Efforts must be made to reduce risk throughout the IoT lifecycle, including in devices, networks, and the backend systems of users and customers. At every data point, encryption needs to be used smartly.

    Anonymize Private Data

    Companies have to protect data where it comes from, and for an IoT company, the best way to do this is to add data-centric protection to the analytics pipeline, making sensitive data anonymous by masking, tokenizing, or encrypting it, depending on how the data will be used. Companies can follow privacy laws by protecting data when created and throughout its lifecycle.

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    Simple software upgrades

    As with any production deployment, the best thing to do is to start with smaller groups of devices. Most of the time, this can be done with the help of metadata. Then, developers must ensure that the device’s agent software can do two things because upgrades can be sensitive and risky.

    First, the update time should be the least downtime.

    Second, rolling back bad or failed updates is very important. It is especially true for devices that can’t be rolled back manually or reach “reset” a bad state or that bad updates must be able to fix themselves.

    Remote access to devices might help, but it might not work for resetting many devices. The core of the device agent needs to be rock-solid, but it also needs to be as simple as possible so that the update agent stays up and automatically recovers from self-updates.

    Devices share information to carry out certain tasks through sensors, software, and processors. By learning and predicting users’ needs, these devices make everyday tasks easier by making jobs easier. For IoT devices to provide the convenience and services people want, they need “fuel.” The “fuel” for IoT devices is data.

    IoT devices constantly collect and share sensitive data. Because of this, data security should be a top priority for any company that makes IoT tech. Doing this while embracing automation keeps developer teams flexible and end-users and customers happy, which is good for team morale and business goals.