Unlike other devices, equipped with an internet connection, IoT devices are very fragile from a cybersecurity perspective
The Internet of Things market is growing rapidly and set to reach very high numbers in the coming years. Particularly increasing is the factory adoption of always-connected objects, now considered as one of the main pillars on which the fourth industrial revolution is built.
Unlike other computing devices, equipped with internet connection, IoT devices are very fragile from a security point of view, a problem that continues to be underestimated. The rush to buy these things has led both software and hardware manufacturers to not pay enough attention to cybersecurity. Just as users also seem not to consider the danger of Internet of Things devices. Businesses, for example, are mostly attracted by the benefits offered by IoT objects, benefits that end up overshadowing security risks.
Based on this, there are several problems that need to be solved, to improve the cybersecurity of IoT objects used in the factory.
Let's start with updates. IoT devices often have many vulnerabilities that are exploited by hackers to mount their deadly cyber attacks. Sometimes Internet of Things objects, precisely because of the ease with which they can be compromised, are turned into zombie devices, devices that can be controlled by criminals remotely.
Compared to the software of other devices, those of IoT objects are not updated frequently. In fact, some manufacturers don't even plan to do so. There's a lack of synergy between those who make the hardware and those who develop the software for IoT objects.
Also, most companies don't frequently download update patches when available. Just as with computers, hardware and software manufacturers should ensure some period of coverage.
IoT objects collect a lot of data, some confidential and valuable. Privacy continues to be an unclear issue. Manufacturers should clarify what they do with all the information handled by IoT devices. And customers should be in a position to delete data captured by Internet of Things machines at any time.
Hardware and software transparency
Makers of IoT devices should also inform users about the hardware and software components used to assemble and operate connected devices. At the very least, they should disclose the most important parts. This way there would be more clarity and buyers would know what they are going to buy.
As is well known, most computing devices are programmed to break after a certain period. This is referred to as planned obsolescence. Regarding always-connected objects, obsolescence must be planned in time and companies must be able to understand how much "life" is left to the devices before they stop working.
Level of protection
The security of IoT objects cannot but pass by the level of protection guaranteed by manufacturers. Companies, aiming to digitize their facilities, must know in advance the standard of cybersecurity offered by an always-connected device. In fact, an enterprise needs to know if an Internet of Things device can jeopardize the security systems of the entire plant.