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Enhancing Data Security in IoT Deployments

6 min read White Paper

The number of connected IoT devices is increasing rapidly across many industries worldwide and is expected to reach 29.7 Billion by the end of 2027, according to IoT Analytics. The growth is expected predominantly in consumer-focused industries like the internet and media such as smartphones, along with connected vehicles, IT infrastructure, asset tracking and monitoring in transportation and logistics, and energy smart grids.

While this explosive growth signifies progress toward a connected world, it also raises concerns about the security of these devices and the overall ecosystem. This white paper discusses the common data security challenges in IoT deployments and describes the methods organizations can adopt to enhance their IoT deployment security posture. It also highlights how HiveMQ’s upgraded Enterprise Security Extension (ESE) addresses these challenges to enhance the overall security posture of IoT deployments.

Here is a short summary, click on the download button for the full white paper.

Inadequate Authentication and Authorization of IoT Devices

Securing IoT deployments requires critical attention to device authentication and authorization. Malicious actors may attempt to create virtual devices, infiltrate deployments, and disseminate harmful data across the network. For example, they could exploit vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to other devices in the deployment, potentially taking control of critical devices such as industrial machinery, medical equipment, or smart infrastructure.

One of the key functions of the Enterprise Security Extension (ESE) is the authentication and authorization of MQTT clients. HiveMQ ESE enhances HiveMQ Broker's capabilities by using external data sources for user and permission management, allowing authentication and authorization of MQTT clients.

Fine-Grained Access Control

Protecting your entire IoT deployment from malicious actors who might gain access to authorized devices is crucial because these actors might manipulate data sent from IoT devices, steal or siphon critical operational data from IoT devices (data breaches), and potentially disrupt critical operations. Failure to address this challenge may lead to compromised integrity, privacy violations, and compromised functionality, risking the overall security and reliability of the IoT deployment.

Insufficient Encryption

Having adequate data encryption in IoT deployments is crucial to safeguard sensitive information and maintain the integrity of communication channels. Without robust encryption measures, intercepted data poses a significant risk of unauthorized access and manipulation, potentially leading to data breaches, privacy violations, or compromise of critical systems.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) provides robust encryption in MQTT-based IoT deployments. When an MQTT client connects to HiveMQ Broker using TLS, a secure channel is established through a handshake process where encryption parameters and digital certificates are exchanged.

Device Identity Management

Effectively managing and securing access credentials for individual IoT devices in your deployment is imperative to prevent unauthorized devices from accessing your IoT deployment or malicious actors from gaining access to authorized devices in your IoT deployment. Without a robust credential management system, compromised credentials could lead to malicious actors manipulating critical operational data or controlling critical IoT network devices. 

Inadequate Logging and Monitoring

Real-time monitoring enhances the ability to swiftly detect abnormal activities, intrusions, or unauthorized access, allowing for immediate intervention and mitigation measures to maintain the security and integrity of the IoT ecosystem.

Download this white paper to dive deeper into the five most common data security challenges in IoT deployments, how to solve them, and how HiveMQ can help.

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