Although they’d have to be hard-pressed to admit it, many IoT device manufacturers underinvest in security to keep their products affordable and accelerate time-to-market. Integrating security during the development stage can significantly jack up the overall cost and slow down the entire manufacturing process.
But building IoT devices with weak IoT security can result in more damaging consequences not just to your customers, but also to your brand — in terms of lost productivity, legal/compliance fines, damaged reputation, and monetary losses.
You can beef up the security of the IoT devices you are designing without breaking the bank. Here are the three practical steps you can take:
Adopt a security-by-design approach. Prevention is always better (and often less expensive) than the cure. If security is part of the design blueprint, you can anticipate the vulnerabilities of your devices and mitigate the risks.
This approach allows you to simulate threats during the early stages of device development and address them right in the design phase. This is way better than shoring up the security of your device when it is already built or being sold to customers.
Look at security alternatives that require less resources. Security is crucial but it does come at a cost. It adds significant overhead. For one, the higher the security level you use in your device, the higher the energy consumption.
You can address this challenge by using IoT security solutions that are not resource-intensive — those with tiny footprints but provide comprehensive IoT security.
Always make room for security. This can be done using an ultra-low-power design that allows you to minimize power usage and give security sufficient “space” in your device. You can look into reducing the resource consumption of displays and sensors so there will be enough power and memory for running machine learning algorithms in your IoT security solutions.
Lastly, hire cyber security-savvy developers and engineers that prioritize a security-first, resource-efficient design for your devices. They should be aware of your organization’s security-by-design practice and should be involved in threat modeling.
It is also crucial that they are aware and up-to-date with data privacy standards. This is not only for the sake of compliance, but to ensure proactive and comprehensive protection of IoT data throughout its life cycle. Since data is often the prime target of cybercriminals, your device engineers should build your products with data privacy in mind.
The true cost you pay for weak IoT security can be significantly higher than the amount you need to embed security from the very beginning. But by using the right strategy, resources, and skills, you can cost-effectively integrate security into your devices and avoid the costly consequences of poor device security.
Want to learn more about smart ways to build highly secure IoT devices? Let’s talk.