One of the largest and most ubiquitous developments in the world of digital transformation over the past few years has been the growth and adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT devices come in all shapes and sizes, and address several different use cases, from wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers to smart buildings and also, smart cities. These devices are developed with the intention to make life easier and collect valuable data points, but they also come with their fair share of challenges.
However, getting the most out of IoT data can be quite difficult. As the use of IoT applications steadily increases, businesses need to ensure that they are storing their data properly and maintaining cyber security measures in the face of the several new attack vectors that are present in IoT. As we know, IoT devices can contain a business’ most sensitive data. If not handled carefully, a simple password hack can lead to devastating and costly consequences.
Understanding IoT Big Data
IoT data is any form of data produced or accessed using IoT devices. These IoT technologies are unique as they are able to connect to the internet and exchange data with one another without the need for an intermediary.
The internet of things is still in a relatively nascent stage but it has already created a new paradigm for the methods used by businesses to collect and interact with data, artificial intelligence and machine learning applications. Moreover, getting the best out of the data generated by IoT devices depends almost completely on having the correct device management, storage, and security protocols in place. The aim here is to maximize the insights gained by real-time sensor data without inviting any risks to the business’ data center.
Where and How to Store IoT Data
So, how does a business keep its IoT data secure but still easily accessible? When we consider the effective organization of an IoT network, a business will likely have to invest in specific, scalable network technologies and systems that will enable them to store and prioritize their data. Although some businesses still prefer using local servers for on-premises IoT data storage, many have shifted to cloud computing and other latest innovations such as edge computing, which are growing in popularity steadily.
Businesses should also have a plan in place to update their data collection and device management frameworks. This will ensure that they are only collecting data that will enable their business to tackle relevant IoT use cases and ensure that they are not collecting any extraneous information that will limit their ability to find meaningful data analytics insights. For instance, integrating data management frameworks will allow businesses to sort IoT big data into separate tiers that are marked for speed and service level requirements according to the business’s specific needs. This streamlines decision-making in the long run.
How to Keep IoT Data Safe and Secure
In addition to effectively storing data, businesses should take proactive steps to prevent hackers from leveraging IoT to breach their networks. Listed below are some of the best practices businesses can rely upon for IoT data protection and security:
Limit connectivity and access: The lesser number of IoT devices that are connected to the internet, the lesser number of endpoints are available on the surface of the network. Businesses must control which connected devices have the authorization to download and share on the internet ensuring that no device has more access points than it requires to perform its job.
Ensure that software and passwords are updated regularly: Whenever there is a chance to update the software on IoT devices, install it immediately. Unfortunately, most IoT manufacturers don’t churn out regular security updates. This means that it is up to the business to implement strong password security protocols. If possible, they must include multi-faceted authentication on their devices.
Implement firewalls: Firewalls are an excellent tool for protecting a network when it comes to attempted IoT breaches. Make sure that any weak points in the network have been identified and deploy firewalls to protect all devices that have internet access.
Encrypt IoT data: SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption makes sure that the data sent across two systems cannot be intercepted, read, or modified by any hackers. Using encryption on the transactions carried out on IoT networks enables businesses to make it more difficult for cyber-criminals to compromise their devices.