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IoT Security

Ensuring the security of devices and IoT systems connected to the corporate network is essential to maintain the safety and reliability of operations in the industrial sector. Discover the threats and challenges of IoT Security, what to consider when implementing guidelines and security systems, and the solutions offered by Lutech

What is IoT Security?

IoT Security is a field of cybersecurity focused on protecting Internet-connected objects (Internet of Things devices dedicated to Smart Home, Smart Building, and Smart Factory - Industry 4.0) that may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. IoT security aims to keep Internet of Things devices secure and reliable, both in consumer and business contexts, and encompasses several specific aspects: 5G IoT security, which relates to the security of the fifth generation of mobile telecommunications, and IIoT, which refers to the Industrial IoT in manufacturing.

What It Means to Protect IoT Systems

IoT Security serves a dual purpose: protecting IoT systems from potential threats and simultaneously securing the data transferred to the cloud, safeguarding the locations where this data is stored.

Cybersecurity Risks Associated with IoT

With the development of new technologies and the Internet of Things, risks related to data and infrastructure security have emerged. It is within the landscape of Smart Connected Operations in Industry 4.0 that threats to the security of IoT systems are naturally more pressing and growing. But what are the factors that most influence security in this context?

  • Rushed Implementation of IoT Solutions: To optimize production and business processes quickly, companies often implement new IoT and Industry 4.0 systems without conducting adequate cybersecurity checks.
  • Unreliable User Authentication Systems: IoT devices need to have an authentication system, but often sensors are added to machinery and immediately turned on using default passwords, making them more vulnerable to hackers.
  • Heterogeneity of IoT Solutions, Machines, and Sensors in Smart Systems: When multiple IoT systems from different manufacturers are installed within the same company, it can be more complicated to perform a comprehensive infrastructure check, increasing the risks.

The main risks that arise from this are:

  • Software Vulnerabilities: This threat exploits the weaknesses in the firmware or software of IIoT endpoint devices, often vulnerable due to lack of updates, use of weak or default passwords, and incorrect configuration.
  • Sabotage: This refers to the tampering of a device by a saboteur who has direct access to the OT environment, whether they are internal or external to the organization.
  • Hacking of IoT Communication Protocols: In this case, a cybercriminal takes control of an existing communication session between two network components, revealing confidential information such as passwords and access data.
  • Brute Force Attack: This occurs when there is unauthorized access to an organization's resources, such as PLCs or IoT devices, through repeated attempts to guess the correct key or password.

The Main Challenges of IoT Security

Many of the challenges of IoT security involve the training and interaction of the company and employees with connected objects. It can concern the correct implementation of security measures and adherence to essential protocols to hinder cyber-attacks.

The "smart factory" typical of Industry 5.0 is interconnected with all production plants and stakeholders in the supply chain. Today, Smart Connected Factories are equipped with systems for automation and data collection to which we can integrate or replace, providing greater functionality and a "software infrastructure" through which it is possible to implement IoT Security solutions in the following ways:

  • Installing a secure and reliable IoT security system and data via wireless, wired network, etc., and putting them in a "network";
  • Interconnecting the factory control systems (PLC, MES, SCADA) to an IoT infrastructure/platform for reading and writing;
  • Securing the connection with and between all plants, devices, and data as for any network;
  • Structuring an infrastructure for data collection and providing a scalable, secure, and fast database in data centers or better, hybrid cloud architectures;
  • Visualizing data in real-time via browsers, apps, and Augmented Reality (AR) systems to assist or improve the use of machinery or services;
  • Using Machine Learning to understand how machines work and optimize their operation;
  • Focusing on Predictive and Prescriptive maintenance to eliminate or mitigate the risk of production stoppages due to line failures.

Contact Lutech to build your end-to-end IoT roadmap >

Factors to Consider for IoT Security

When building a new IoT system for your company, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive IoT Security Assessment by the company's IT department specialists or with the help of outsourced cybersecurity experts. A multi-level security software approach is required, which includes antivirus, firewall, intrusion detection tools, virtual private network, and the use of security gateways that incorporate machine learning technologies to effectively protect against threats and implement comprehensive IoT security management.

Implementing or optimizing an IoT security system with a partner with solid expertise in both IoT and Big Data technologies and development, as well as Cybersecurity, is therefore essential to avoid unforeseen risks.

In fact, the development of secure end-to-end IoT solutions involves multiple layers that integrate important functionalities of the IoT security architecture across four different levels: Device, Communications, Cloud, and Lifecycle Management.

Lutech IoT Security Solutions

Lutech is capable of designing end-to-end IoT solutions, from the assessment phase to execution, through to application maintenance and continuous optimization, ensuring the organization's protection from cybercrime threats. The development of these solutions, tailored to the company's needs, is based on four main levels.

  1. Secure Device Layer

The device layer refers to the hardware level of the IoT solution, i.e., the "physical" product. ODMs and OEMs (which design and produce devices) are increasingly integrating security features into both hardware and software to enhance device-level security.

Determining the risk level depends on the characteristics of the proposed data flows and the device's ability to manage complex security tasks: a "smart" device must be able to handle security, encryption, authentication, timestamps, cache storage, proxies, firewalls, connection loss, etc.

With edge processing, smart connected products can process data locally before sending it to the cloud, eliminating the need to forward huge volumes and transmit sensitive information. By judiciously performing data processing at the device level, the overall network is strengthened.

  1. Secure Communications Layer

The communication layer refers to the connectivity networks of the IoT solution, i.e., the means by which data is securely transmitted and received. Whether sensitive data is in transit at the physical level (e.g., WiFi or Ethernet), network level (e.g., IPv6, Modbus, or OPC-UA), or application level (e.g., MQTT, CoAP, or web-socket), insecure or unencrypted communication channels can be susceptible to intrusions such as man-in-the-middle attacks.

  1. Secure Cloud Layer

The cloud layer refers to the software back-end of the IoT solution, where device big data is imported, analyzed, and interpreted on a large scale to generate insights and take actions. The cloud is a key factor for IoT adoption, and today Cloud Providers, from Azure to Google to AWS, provide secure and efficient services, protecting against data breaches and downtime.

  1. Secure Lifecycle Management Layer

It refers to a general layer with ongoing processes required to keep the security of an IoT solution up to date, namely ensuring sufficient security levels from device production, initial installation to disposal. The Security by Design approach, i.e., thinking about security in the design phases, is just the first step in ongoing efforts to keep an IoT solution secure. Further steps during the lifecycle include policy enforcement, regular auditing, and vendor control.

Reliable and continuously optimized device connectivity, remote and real-time maintenance (remote field service), device scalability, secure data transfer to the cloud, are the results of efficient IoT lifecycle management

The Security in Industrial IoT (IIoT)

The monitoring and control systems for production processes and machinery in various industrial sectors are themselves victims of security threats, including various types of IoT devices: from point-of-sale (POS) terminals in retail stores and the HoReCa sector, to digital television systems, environmental monitoring systems, security and access control systems, energy management, and industrial IoT (IIoT) in manufacturing. Lutech helps you secure your systems.

IoT supply chain security

The security of the supply chain is the management aspect that focuses on risk management of external suppliers, vendors, logistics, and transportation. Its goal is to identify, analyze, and mitigate risks associated with working with other organizations within the supply chain. In this regard, Lutech's IoT technology is positioned as a comprehensive end-to-end solution to prevent and manage supply chain risks, thanks to state-of-the-art systems and comprehensive procedures for data and product security.

5G & IoT security

5G is increasingly asserting itself, permanently altering our way of life. However, the risks associated with this new technology are still significant and often underestimated by companies. Therefore, all companies, including SMEs, should consider IoT security as an integral part of their digital transformation strategies. Cyberattacks expose sensitive data theft, privacy breaches, as well as potentially causing permanent and substantial economic damage. By protecting their IT assets and data, organizations can focus on innovation and business, thereby remaining operational.

Design and Secure Your IoT System

With an end-to-end offering that combines hardware components and software solutions, ranging from sensor design to Big Data analytics management, Lutech stands as one of the most important developers of IoT projects and Smart Factory solutions. We can define a personalized roadmap for digital transformation, select IoT technologies that best align with the client's objectives, and safeguard any investments already made.

Contact Lutech to build your end-to-end IoT roadmap

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