Understanding IoT to guide customers

Post Published On:

Alia Atiya, Business Unit Manager, Aptec – an Ingram Micro company, says it is critical for channel partners to educate and train themselves in the security risks associated with IoT adoption before positioning the solutions to end users.

The risks associated with IoT devices are derived from the original design of the IoT technology itself as it is relatively new; most of the IoT manufactures are truly not concerned about the security design of their products/devices as their highest priority is to deliver the technology to the market as soon as possible and as such this leads to thousands of IoT devices vulnerable to cyber adversaries. The second biggest risk is the nature of the technology itself whereby cyber security controls or feature sets cannot fit IoT devices due to the simple architecture and the hardware resource limitation to embed cyber security feature-set into them. For instance, a heating thermostat device cannot manage or run high computing security controls. Regional clients often prefer to implement security controls around IoT devices as much as possible. The challenge is that global market offerings do not yet have tailored cyber security offerings for IoT. We are seeing few inventions here and there, but we do not believe that the current market offerings are
mature enough to address this challenge yet. Many customers will end up following the legacy IT security framework as a checkbox
for compliance, but the core issue is not addressed or resolved.
The market offerings for IoT technology is rapidly increasing, allowing customers a wide variety of choices. The most important aspect when it comes to cyber security is the ability of the contractor or the supplier to implement a cyber security framework around the operational network if there are no controls built within the IoT devices. Visibility into the IoT operational network is key to understand the risk associated with operation and cyber exposure. It is very important that the partners themselves understand
the risk associated with IoT before clients’ awareness campaign is launched, because often customers (end-users) are usually more aware about the technology due to the early stages of its acquisition and adoption. Partners should work with their existing cyber
security providers to understand the core challenges of IoT and OT networks before launching any awareness sessions as customers are keener to hear from partners about definite solutions for the problems.
Partners have huge opportunities in this space and must maximize the prospects effectively, together with Ingram Micro.