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. In fact, many organizations have begun adopting zero-trust IoT security strategies to protect their IoT data from potential breaches.

The recent influx of supply chain attacks and cyberattacks via Internet of Things (IoT) technology has even prompted the government to mandate that all government agencies meet specific zero-trust standards by the end of the fiscal year 2024.

By some estimates, as many as 300 billion connected devices will be integrated into IoT platforms and IoT applications within the next 10 years. As that number grows, IoT security concerns will intensify as well.

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,” where those sites, apps or IoT devices would allow access to any user on the network.

One of the foundational principles of a zero-trust approach is that no IoT device should be granted access to any corporate network or other device until it is authenticated— or, “never trust, always verify.”

As the security threat vector expands, all devices that collect and share data—from the IoT sensor, to the edge device that processes the data, to the core or cloud that analyzes the collected data—must be secured from end to end.

A zero-trust strategy can also help guard your IT and OT environments from vulnerable, unprotected systems. Because almost any device connected to your network can create an opportunity for a cyberattack, it’s important to remember that IT leaders are now responsible for all of the devices on our network—not just the computers.

Why is zero trust necessary for IoT?

Moving into the age of mobility, smart homes, smart cities, connected cars, 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 weaknesses that may 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.