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IoT security isn’t just a case of once and done

What do organisations mention as their biggest concern when it comes to the adoption of a new technology? Security, quite rightly, it’s always near the top of the list. And so it is with IoT.

Niklas Ekarv

Niklas Ekarv

Head of IoT Product and Portfolio Management

As the Internet of Things (IoT)  becomes even more prevalent, the issue of security is becoming a frequently asked question from companies engaging with this new technology. According to the Vodafone IoT Barometer 2017/18, 79% of adopters agree that IT security is an enabler, giving businesses the confidence to do more, while 75% cite security as an important factor when choosing connectivity for IoT projects.

Although it might not be the first thing to take into account, security quickly turns into a key aspect of ensuring data protection. While some organisations engaging with IoT on a larger scale have reduced their security concerns, for those starting out now, it may still be a barrier to adoption. The IoT Barometer found that only 7% of adopters with larger IoT programmes – at least 10,000 connected devices – say security is their top concern, compared to 19% of those with fewer connected devices. Yet, regardless of the number of devices, many seek additional support to address the issue of security. Realising that an incident can easily result in the cost and embarrassment of lost customer data, adopters are increasingly working with third-party experts. As they roll out larger, more complex IoT programmes, they are more likely to seek the help of specialist security providers.

This is why Vodafone has decided to invest in increasing our suite of security services to ensure that our customers have complete peace of mind, knowing all their security concerns are being addressed. To achieve this, Vodafone has partnered with QinetiQ to complement our security services and provide organisations with a framework of four end-to-end IoT security services.

Opening the way for increased use of IoT and pioneering new innovations

At Vodafone, we keep in touch with our customers at all times and have spent a great deal of time understanding where their biggest concerns lie. The IoT Barometer showed that only 37% of adopters test the security of their IoT during development. Vodafone IoT Security Assessment can help organisations assess the threats to their IoT deployment against the consequences of security breaches and plan appropriate countermeasures.

Yet, the task of securing IoT doesn’t end when it’s up and running. The types of threats organisations face are constantly evolving and to keep up with this, the infrastructure around them also needs to improve. According to the IoT Barometer, 40% of adopters are testing and scanning for vulnerabilities after launch. Vodafone IoT Secure by Design can identify any vulnerabilities or weaknesses of new and existing hardware and software, as well as advise on actions to be taken in order to secure services.

With the arrival of the GDPR, it’s not enough to secure data only where it resides. To keep IoT data safe, security needs to be end-to-end. It means securing the whole IoT system, including the data centre or cloud where the data is stored, the network, as well as every IoT device. As the IoT Barometer illustrated, 59% of adopters find IoT devices difficult to secure and manage in the field. Vodafone IoT Security Policy & Management can protect organisations’ operations by helping them develop IoT security strategy, governance, policies, procedures and management systems.

The IoT Barometer also found that 67% of adopters consider a breach to their IoT applications disastrous. To address this, Vodafone IoT Test & Evaluation can ensure that your devices and infrastructure are protected from any weak links in your solution and find out where there are vulnerabilities.

In the era of continuous digital transformation, organisations have to find the most efficient ways to push ahead with their IoT implementations. Realising that security can be an enabler only when it’s effective is a crucial part of tackling today’s most distressing technological concerns.

Read more about Vodafone’s four end-to-end security consultancy services or contact us.

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