IoT Security Solutions: Key Features and 8 Solutions You Should Know

Lian Granot
Lian Granot

7  min read | min read | 19/04/2024

What Are IoT Security Solutions?

IoT security solutions encompass a range of technologies specifically designed to protect Internet of Things (IoT) devices and networks from potential cyber threats. As IoT devices continue to permeate every aspect of our lives and businesses, there’s an escalating need to secure them.

IoT security solutions help protect connected devices and networks from unauthorized access, damage, or data theft. They help identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in IoT devices, and ensure the data they store and transmit remains confidential and retains its integrity. These solutions deploy capabilities such as robust authentication, encryption, secure boot functionality, automatic software updates, network segmentation, observability, and runtime protection to improve IoT security.

This is part of a series of articles about IoT Security

Key Features of IoT Security Solutions

Here are some of the key features of IoT security tools:

Device Authentication

Device authentication ensures that only authorized devices can connect to the IoT network. This is achieved by assigning a unique identity to each device, which is then validated every time the device tries to connect to the network.

This feature is essential to prevent unauthorized devices from gaining access to the network. It also helps in tracking the activities of each device, thereby facilitating better incident response in case of any security breach.

End-to-End Encryption

End-to-end encryption ensures that the data transmitted between the devices over the network is encrypted at the source and can only be decrypted by the intended receiver.

This feature prevents any unauthorized access to the data during transmission. Even if a cybercriminal manages to intercept the data, they would not be able to comprehend its content because of the encryption.

Secure Boot

Secure boot ensures that the devices boot up securely. It verifies the integrity of the device software during startup or of the boot process itself. If any discrepancies,alterations or anomalies are detected, the device is prevented from booting up, thereby averting potential security breaches.

Secure boot mechanisms provide an additional layer of security by ensuring that only authorized, verified and trusted software runs on the device. It helps in preventing the device from being compromised by malicious software that could potentially harm the network.

Automatic Updates

Automatic updates ensure that the device’s software is always up-to-date with the latest security patches. This feature is crucial for maintaining a secure IoT environment as outdated software can often be exploited by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to the network.

The ability to automatically update the software reduces the time and effort required for manual updates, while simultaneously improving the overall security of the IoT ecosystem.

Network Segmentation

Network segmentation involves dividing the network into multiple logical or physical segments. Each segment operates independently of the others, thereby limiting the potential damage in case of a security breach.

By segmenting the network, if one part of the network is compromised, it does not affect the other segments. This feature is particularly effective in large scale IoT deployments, where a security breach in one segment can potentially jeopardize the entire network. It also enables placing high risk devices into isolated network segments.

Observability and Anomaly Detection

Observability and anomaly detection in IoT security solutions focus on monitoring the operational state of devices and networks, identifying unusual patterns or activities that may indicate a security threat. This feature leverages a combination of real-time monitoring, data analysis, and AI to provide insights into device behavior and network traffic.

Observability enables early detection of potential issues, by collecting and analyzing data from various sources, including device performance metrics, network traffic, and user activities. Anomaly detection algorithms can identify deviations from normal behavior, support preventive maintenance, signaling possible device operational issues or security incidents like data breaches, unauthorized access, or malware infections. This proactive approach aids in mitigating risks and ensuring the reliability of IoT systems.

Runtime Protection

Runtime protection in IoT security refers to the safeguards that operate during the execution of a device’s software, aiming to detect and mitigate threats in real-time. This feature includes monitoring the execution environment, analyzing the behavior of running applications, and enforcing security policies to prevent exploitation of vulnerabilities.

Runtime protection mechanisms are designed to identify and neutralize threats like zero-day exploits, unauthorized code execution, and memory corruption attacks. They operate by ensuring that only legitimate code runs on the device, monitoring system calls and application behavior, and isolating critical components to minimize the impact of a potential breach.

 

Notable IoT Security Solutions 

1. Sternum

sternum iot
Sternum is an IoT security and observability platform. Embedded in the device itself, it provides deterministic security with runtime protection against known and unknown threats; complete observability that provides data about individual devices and the entire device fleet; and anomaly detection powered by AI to provide real-time operational intelligence.

Sternum operates at the bytecode level, making it universally compatible with any IoT device or operating system including RTOS, Linux, OpenWrt, Zephyr, Micirum, and FreeRTOS. It has low overhead of only 1-3%, even on legacy devices. 

Learn more about Sternum for IoT security

 

2. Palo Alto Networks


Palo Alto Networks Enterprise IoT Security focuses on zero trust-based security for IoT devices. It includes features like quick device discovery and assessment, segmentation and enforcement of least privilege access, protection against known and unknown threats, and simplified operations. 

The solution leverages machine learning for device profiling and risk assessment, integrating with existing network technologies for seamless policy enforcement. It aims to reduce the time needed to deploy to IoT devices, while streamlining policy creation.

Source: Palo Alto Networks

 

3. Cisco


Cisco IoT Management and Automation provides tools for deploying and managing IoT projects efficiently. It simplifies management tasks through a central dashboard for designing, provisioning, updating, and policy enforcement. The solution offers improved network and equipment visibility at the edge and enables seamless scalability when the network grows. 

Tools offered within the suite include the Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard for industrial digitization, offering services like Secure Equipment Access, Cyber Vision, and Edge Intelligence. Additionally, Cisco Catalyst Center provides an integrated view of the network from core to edge, and Cisco vManage extends SD-WAN capabilities to the IoT edge. 

Source: Cisco

 

4. Armis


The Armis and Check Point joint solution for IoT focuses on providing visibility and proactive security for unmanaged and IoT devices. It offers benefits like reducing exposure to risks associated with these devices, handling threats without disrupting business operations, and ensuring no impact on network operations. 

Key features include discovery and classification of all devices, an agentless approach, and passive, frictionless deployment using existing infrastructure. The solution integrates with Check Point for policy configuration and enforcement, enabling rapid detection and response. It leverages the Armis Device Knowledgebase and global threat intelligence.

Source: Armis

 

5. Broadcom


Broadcom’s IoT monitoring solution offers end-to-end monitoring across IoT ecosystems, covering devices, APIs, gateways, apps, networks, and infrastructures. It can process large volumes of events and alerts, including security events. The solution connects between IoT devices and business processes, enabling the collection and analysis of diverse IoT data at scale. 

Broadcom’s IoT solution provides tools for optimizing performance across applications and networks and offers insights to enhance customer experience and maximize IoT opportunities. The system is designed to be open, integrated, and extensible, supporting modern platforms and technologies to support IoT development and deployment.

Source: Broadcom

 

6. Forescout


Forescout’s IoT security solution, Continuum, adopts a zero trust approach for securing nontraditional devices. It emphasizes complete device visibility, proactive network segmentation, and least-privilege access control. The Continuum platform manages cyber, operational, and compliance risks by offering insights into unmanaged IoT devices, assessing device credentials, monitoring device communication, and automating policy actions.

Continuum integrates network segmentation and policy orchestration across multi-vendor IoT environments, improving security management. It is designed to support security across IoT and operational technology (OT) environments, providing comprehensive device discovery, dynamic network segmentation, and orchestrated policy enforcement. 

Source: Forescout

 

7. Trustwave


Trustwave’s solution for IoT security involves a range of measures to protect network-connected devices. It includes asset identification on networks, secure IoT deployment, and detection of vulnerabilities in various components such as applications, servers, APIs, and cloud clusters.  Additionally, Trustwave offers a Managed IoT Security service, providing ongoing protection managed by the company’s team of security experts.

 

8. Entrust


Entrust’s IoT security solution is based on a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which ensures secure, encrypted communication between devices and services in the IoT space. The solution includes features like digital certificates, identity and access management, electronic and digital signing, and a cryptographic center of excellence. These elements work together to provide a robust secure communication framework for IoT devices. 

Digital certificates are crucial for establishing trusted identities and secure connections in IoT networks. The identity and access management component offers cloud-based and on-premise solutions for multi-factor authentication and secure access controls.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the security of IoT devices and networks is paramount in today’s interconnected landscape. IoT security solutions provide a comprehensive framework to safeguard devices against a wide array of cyber threats. 

Features like device authentication, end-to-end encryption, secure boot, automatic updates, network segmentation, observability and anomaly detection, and runtime protection, collectively ensure the integrity,, and availability of IoT systems. Each feature plays a vital role in constructing a robust security posture through the entire device lifecycle, from initial device validation to decommissioning.

As IoT devices continue to proliferate across industries, the importance of implementing and maintaining these security measures cannot be overstated. By adopting advanced IoT security solutions, organizations can protect their infrastructure, preserve customer trust, and pave the way for a secure, connected future.

Related content: Read our guide about iot security challenges

Learn more about Sternum for IoT security

 

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