Why Security Must Be Built In From the Start

The IoT market continues to grow at warp speed. In fact, Statista forecasts the global IoT market will increase to around $1.6 trillion by 2025. But the tremendous pace of this growth creates increasing challenges from a security standpoint and threats are growing in both volume and variety.

Security had a slow start in the IoT industry, but a recent study from PSA Certified found that 90% of respondents now believe IoT device security is important to their company. And while the complexity, cost, and time of security continue to be a challenge for device makers, they are starting to see securing the IoT as an unmissable opportunity.  93% of technology decision-makers now believe that security can differentiate their products from competitive offerings, with 82% prepared to spend continuously on security tools and resources.

Stopping hackers and preventing holes from being left in any IoT system is something that must be thought out from the very beginning.  IoT product developers must consider security from the outset, putting security on equal footing with the product’s basic functionalities during the development process. This goes beyond even the system itself, and how it connects devices together and to the cloud. Developers need to think even further ahead. For example, they need to plan how they are going to carry out necessary firmware upgrades down the line in a secure manner.

Ensuring security is woven into the product development should not be too difficult. The security solutions are out there, manufacturers just have to make sure they use them. This is slightly complicated by the fact that we still don’t have one-stop security solutions because of the diversity of devices. What secures one device will not necessarily be sufficient for the next device because each may be completely different with so many diverse aspects to it – say Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi, or radio – that they cannot all fold into a single solution.

Nonetheless, the solutions are out there, and they must be built into IoT products at the earliest stage. For example, Nitrium is an over-the-air (OTA) device firmware management platform that allows manufacturers to safely and easily deploy new features, bug fixes, security updates, and more to just a few or up to millions of devices with limited disruption to device performance.

Don’t get caught unaware. When you start mapping out your product functionality, map out how you propose to deal with security every step of the way, identifying the solutions that work for each particular issue. Security is a customer’s major concern when it comes to IoT, and ensuring your product is adequately protected can be key to future sales and revenues.