iot security zero trust illustration

If you’ve felt like new reports of data hacks and security breaches are becoming more common, it’s not your imagination.

The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) as one of the fastest-growing device categories today means that securing your IoT data is more important—and difficult—than ever. By some estimates, as many as 300 billion devices will be connected within the next 10 years, and as that number grows, IoT security concerns will intensify as well. Cyber criminals  who are able to take control of unmanaged IoT devices with weak credentials have the potential to disrupt critical services for millions.

Anyone affected by a recent attack may be wondering, what IoT security measures can businesses in today’s climate take to keep their data safe from breaches, malware, and ransomware attacks? The answer may lie in shifting to a zero-trust security model.


What is zero trust?

Previously, the guiding architectural principle for most network security models was, “verify, then trust.” This meant that sites, apps or IoT devices would allow access to any user with the proper credentials. In some cases, this was even distilled down to “trust,” here those sites, apps or IoT devices would allow access to any user on the network.

The zero-trust security model, introduced by an analyst at Forrester Research, is guided by the principle of, “never trust, always verify.” This means that organizations should not automatically trust any user who requests access to a site, app or device inside or outside its perimeters; instead, the organization must verify anything and everything trying to connect to its systems before granting access.


Why is zero trust necessary for IoT?

Moving into the age of mobility, smart homes, remote workers, and cloud-delivered applications also means that the old ‘tried and true’ security methods don’t provide the same levels of protection that they once did.

Though the “verify, then trust” security concept may have kept credentials safe previously, many security experts agree that it simply no longer works in today’s business climate. Leveraging zero-trust concepts is one of the best ways to ensure effective control across all modalities.

At the same time, applications, users and devices are moving outside of the “zone of control,” dissolving what was once the trusted enterprise perimeter. Protection is now needed where those applications, data, users and devices live.


The future of zero trust

Though many organizations are doing all they can to keep their data secure, new business initiatives and processes driven by digital transformation may actually be creating new attack surfaces and increasing risk exposure.

So, how does an organization stay a step ahead of cybercriminals without taking valuable time away from focusing on their business goals?

First, learn more about where weaknesses exist in your current IoT security infrastructure. Then, ask your Sirius representative or contact us for more information about implementing a zero-trust security model in your organization.