Industry Needs Common Security Standards to Thwart IoT Attacks

Opinion

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enterprise assets on that network.

This problem, I should add, isn’t limited to the enterprise. It can also impact home security.

Consider, for example, a smart home equipped with a garage door opener with the added ability to deactivate the home alarm upon entry. This is good for a homeowner entering his home in a hurry. The catch is that now the entire alarm system could potentially be deactivated when only the garage door opener is compromised.

The broad array of Web-connected home devices — including TVs, home thermostats, door locks and home alarms— creates myriad connection points for hackers to gain entry into IoT residential ecosystems.

While companies and industries unite to correct such shortcomings in the home and in the enterprise, individual corporate CIOs, in particular, must push to address the challenges associated with IoT security.

The most important interim step is for CIOs to create a strong governance framework for IoT devices to meet corporate security standards. Such devices, just like any other touch points, must fit within an organization’s security strategy as a whole to prevent data leakages and other privacy breaches. Proactive planning of network and infrastructure upgrades is essential to enable proactive defense.

Having taken meaningful steps already, hopefully the private sector will work toward a viable, agreed-upon solution to the current IoT security nightmare. I, for one, am confident this will happen, albeit with a time lag. Despite some shortcomings, cybersecurity overall has made substantial progress in recent years. It’s time that IoT joined the club.

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Robert R. Ackerman Jr. is the founder and managing director of AllegisCyber, an early stage venture capital firm specializing in cybersecurity, and a co-founder and executive at DataTribe, a cybersecurity startup studio in metropolitan Washington D.C. Follow @bobackerman

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