Benefits of secure IoT: protect against IoT threats & create new business

IoT security is a set of technologies and best practices to ensure the sustainability of your IoT business: it provides trust, integrity and control. It protects key assets like devices, identity, data, decisions, commands and actions.


What is IoT security?

IoT Security is the technologies and best practices that enable new opportunities while protecting your business from the risks that connectivity brings. Good IoT security involves three phases:


Design and test your devices and ecosystems against well-defined threats


Integrate and operationalize IoT security to enable all your IoT applications and use cases, protecting them end to end


Sustain your IOT ecosystem throughout its entire lifecycle

To be effective, IoT security needs to be designed into the device and the ecosystem from the start. Only this can ensure that IoT effectively delivers on its business objectives over time.


Who should care about IoT security?

IoT security protects and enables your business, so whether you’re launching a new IoT product or planning your digital transformation, it’s smart to consider it from the start.

Creators of IoT Devices & Solutions

You are developing connected devices for your customers and need to make them secure so they enable new business models and protect the device, the user experience, the data and your reputation.

E.g. Industrial, Medical, Consumer, Automotive, etc.

Implementors of IoT Solutions

You are planning your digital transformation so you can gain new insights, efficiencies and control over your business and develop new business models and revenue streams. You need to make sure this growth is secure and sustainable.

E.g. Manufacturing, Energy, Retail, Transportation, etc.


What needs to be secured in IoT?

Your IoT-enabled business relies on connectivity and is inherently exposed. Each key asset within the chain – at each stage of your product lifecycle – requires protecction.


Device identity must be unique, unclonable, immutable and well-protected. This “root of trust” forms the basis for all other security functions.


The IoT device is often by nature in uncontrolled environments, allowing a hacker to access unencrypted data, upload malware, access locked features, and conduct DDOS attacks.


Data can be in a device, server or in motion between chips or across networks, and its privacy and confidentiality need to be protected and its authenticity guaranteed throughout your entire IoT ecosystem.


Whether simple logic or AI-based, software decisions should be executed in a secure environment based on integral data so they are safe from tampering or intellectual property theft.


Commands are the orders sent to devices (on/off, activate feature). They need to be securely validated as coming from a legitimate source (whether server or AI).


Actions in the physical world (stop assembly line, apply car brakes) need to be triggered only by legitimate, authenticated  commands to ensure both productivity and safety.


Introduction IoT Security (6 pages)

For IoT Device & Component Manufacturers


Benefits of secure IoT

We have identified the most common benefits of securing your IoT ecosystem, as well as the risks associated with insufficient IoT security.

Strategic benefits of IoT Security

Enable new business models

Like rental and usage-based pricing using authentic and trusted data from the device. Ensure accurate billing while preventing fraud.

Enable new features

by securely controling them using an advanced, key-based mechanism that ensures monetization and prevents service theft.

Enable regulatory compliance

By ensuring industry-specific rules for data privacy and safety are enabled by strong encryption and authenticated commands.

Enable competitive differentiation

With a secure solution that will give your customers confidence that your solution won’t ever let them down.

Enable data privacy

From chip to cloud to application, both at rest and in motion, using end-to-end encryption and fine-grained access control.

Enable local decision/AI

Ensure the data used to make decisions is authentic and integral, and that the AI logic is protected during execution and updates. Make faster, safer decisions 

Management benefits of IoT Security

Successfully meet your IoT project goals

Everything you want to accomplish with your IoT project is dependent on how secure it is. By ensuring the integrity of your data, protecting the integrity of your devices, and controlling access to your IoT assets, you can avoid threats that can impact your revenue and reputation.  

Protect today’s and tomorrow’s business models

The IoT is enabling more and more unique business models, and a device implemented today could be tomorrow’s platform for innovative new services like pay-per-use, pay-per-time, etc. IoT security plays an important role in the success of those business models and prevents costly fraud, so it’s important to implement rich and flexible security technology in order to leverage it for all sorts of future opportunities.

Ensure your long-term success

Security is a long game and goes beyond the initial implementation. Having a solid security lifecycle management strategy and staffing/sourcing it correctly will help you ensure the long-term sustainability of your business and enable you to deal with known and unknown threats as long as your IoT product remains in the market.

Risks of unsecure IoT

Loss of revenues

Remotely enabled features and usage-based business models – if not securely implemented – are subject to fraud and revenue loss.

Loss of reputation

Breaches of end-user devices or customer data can create the kind of news that can cause long-term harm to your company’s reputation. Good IoT security can prevent that.

Liability and lawsuits 

Failure to design, implement and maintain the necessary security in your products can result in undesirable litigation if your products don’t adequately protect customer data.

Regulatory fines 

Data privacy is high on the agenda of regulatory authorities, whether they are regional or industry-specific. Failure to adequately secure data end to end can result in large fines and sactions.

Intellectual property theft 

Companies are spending millions developing innovative IoT technologies and much of that is in software and AI. Poor security can allow this valuable IP to be stolen.

Bad data, bad decisions 

Data is the lifeblood of IoT, and data that is not adquately secured can be easily manipulated, resulting in inaccurate, poor business decisions, potentially negating the benefits of IoT projects.

Awareness of IoT Security as a strategic success factor is growing

IoT is booming and so will the number of attacks and security threats, while user safety and data confidentiality are more important than ever.

Far too few companies are putting effective IoT security in place to protect their investments and business models. This puts their IoT return on investment and their very reputation at serious risk.

Why is that? Sometimes it’s a lack of internal expertise, a rush to get products to market or simply a failure to understand the importance of security. Our evaluations show that some customers even fail to activate security measures that are already present in the hardware they’re using!

However awareness of IoT security and its importance is growing quickly. Management has begun to understand that in order to create a sustainable and competitive connected business, that security is a key strategic asset.

State of IoT Security in 2020


Does IoT security slow time to market?

It doesn’t have to. Today, IoT security can be pre-integrated with chipsets, communication modules and SIM cards you might already use. New guidelines  like IoT-SAFE from GSMA and nuSUM from Deutsche Telekom are starting to standardize hardware-based IoT security and enable a quicker time to market for secure IoT solutions. 

Is IoT security an additional expense?

It is, but the cost of recovering from a data breach or having to replace a compromised device has been proven to be exponentially higher. 

Can’t IoT security be done later?

The only way to create a secure IoT ecosystem is to embed security in the device when it is designed and manufactured. Because data originates from the device itself and those devices are often exposed in uncontrolled environments, they become the weakest link unless they are secured by design.

Cybersecurity measures to protect networks from IoT devices are important when the devices aren’t secure by design, but they do not provide the same level or protection as embedded device security.

Should I build an IoT security team?

IoT security expertise is scarce and can be challenging to build in-house. Many innovative product organizations can’t justify having a dedicated security team. Embedded and operational security are also competencies that can take decades for a company to build, so it’s often better to work with external security partners to ensure your product incorporates the right technologies and processes to pretect it from Day 1 until its end of life.

« The sheer number of IoT-based attacks ramped up rapidly in 2017 and held roughly steady in 2018 »

Symantec’s annual Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR)

The sheer number of IoT-based attacks ramped up rapidly in 2017 and held roughly steady in 2018

Symantec’s annual Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR)

« Three forms of DDoS-associated malware – LightAidra, Kaiten and Mirai – collectively accounted for nearly 80% of the 2018 IoT attacks »

Symantec’s annual Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR)


Top 5 IoT Security best practices

Here are the five basic best practices to help you create secure IoT products and ecosystems.


Start with the End in Mind

Start considering security as soon as you begin developing your IoT solution. Implementing it at the beginning is more economical and more effective than adding it after a breach (by a factor of 60 to 80 times, according to IBM).


Don’t Go It Alone

If you don’t have security staff in-house, find a proven expert who will accompany you throughout your entire IoT journey and will help you design, build, operate and sustain your IoT ecosystem long term. Third-party, expert evaluations of your product can help you close potentially dangerous security gaps while building confidence with your buyers and giving you a strategic advantage over your competition. 


Build on Secure Foundations

Establish a root of trust (unique, secure identity protected inside a chip or software) in the device at manufacture. That simplifies device onboarding and management, and establishes the robust security tools you need to secure all current and future IoT use cases and applications. This root of trust may be integrated into other components you’re already using.


Protect Everything

Use that root of trust and associated security client to protect your device, protect your data end to end and control access to your device, your data and premium features. Make sure your security solution supports all the features and functionalities you need today as well as in the future.


Think Long Term

Consider the entire lifecycle of your IoT solution, implementing technologies that include FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) updates), countermeasures (built-in defenses), security telemetry from the device and managed security services to ensure long-term return on investment. Hackers are constantly evolving their techniques, so work with an expert who is experienced in defending their technology and your business from sustained attacks.