The internet of things, an emerging technology that has started gaining popularity in the early 2010s, has seen a rapid development in the past decade, making its way successfully in important fields and industries, that have believed in its potential. At the same time, businesses have too introduced this technology throughout their processes, leveraging it so that they can attract and maintain the loyalty of their clients, as well as digitally transform.
However soon enough, companies realized that the large volumes of internet of things data, that needs to be stored and processed, represent a true challenge. And in order to overcome such difficulties, they turned to another new technology that has helped them advance tremendously - the cloud. By integrating the latter, companies were able to address issues related to storage and computing resources, and therefore, take full advantage of what IoT brings to the table.
The mix between the two technologies, internet of things and cloud, turned out to be quite a hit, but benefits were not solely what it came bundled with. Once they have implemented cloud technologies in IoT, businesses became exposed to new vulnerabilities and had to upgrade their security related strategies. So, more specifically, what challenges are companies up against?
Well, authorization and privacy problems portray some of the obstacles that businesses will most likely be facing when combining the internet of things with the cloud. And that’s because, in public cloud’s case for instance, the information that is gathered through IoT sensors and devices, is stored in a place to which other users may have access. Apart from these difficulties, companies may also encounter issues arising from misconfigurations, flawed implementations of IoT, security measures or security protocols, or firewall failures.
Having mentioned some of the risks that companies are exposed to, it is clear that part of the measures that businesses may take in order to ensure security when integrating IoT and cloud technologies, are those related to the proper implementation of security features, the adoption of a next-generation firewall, and the selection of the right cloud configuration. But there is more to it than meets the eye.
Enhancing IoT and cloud security is a complex task, therefore the above indicated suggestions are not enough; several other actions must be taken so that both companies and clients can enjoy the benefits of superior security strategies, so here are a few tips on how to improve IoT and cloud security.
- Conduct frequent evaluations and maintenance work
Cloud service providers can help with this one, in the sense that they are the ones that can relieve companies of this repetitive task, that must be carried out. By means of regular verifications and tests, security breaches can be identified early, before causing trouble, and any fixes, tweaks or adjustments can be performed effectively.
- Set strong passwords and change them often
Seems like a no-brainer, but still some businesses fail to give the proper attention to password policies. Yet a weak password that is stored in the cloud is one of the main causes for data breaches, so this is definitely not a matter that should be overlooked. This is why implementing a two-factor authentication method, along with advising users to change their passwords regularly, are some of the tips that companies should be following in terms of passwords for both IoT devices or those used on the cloud.
- Keep sensitive information out of the public cloud
Even if companies do select their cloud service providers carefully, and adopt a shared responsibility model which implies that suppliers take some measures to protect data, businesses should still take precautions, and come up with their own solutions. And keeping sensitive data far away from the public cloud is one precautionary action that they can turn to. Storing sensitive information on premise, as well as integrating cloud security solutions, are some suggestions that companies should bear in mind for a superior IoT and cloud security.
- Secure data from the very beginning
What do we mean by this? Well, information travels from internet of things devices towards the cloud, and throughout its journey, before it is even processed, it’s important that it is protected and supervised. In this sense, businesses can make use of filtering tools, which assist them in discovering suspicious activities and abnormalities, and thus, allows them to take the necessary actions early on.
The internet of things and cloud technologies go together like the horse and carriage, but they also give rise to many vulnerabilities and security challenges that companies must be prepared to face. In this regard, having bulletproof security strategies ensures businesses reap all the benefits that the combination of IoT and cloud technologies has to offer, and since achieving such strategies is a complex mission, some suggestions are in order. Setting secure passwords and changing them frequently, conducting regular checks, and keeping sensitive information on premise, are just some of the tips that companies might want to follow if they wish to enhance IoT and cloud security.
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