Cybersecurity is a problem for almost every business, and it can be hard to keep up with new threats and best practises. People who work in factories, restaurants, or other businesses that use wireless sensor networks for equipment monitoring and access control can make their jobs easier or safer, but those IoT devices also need to follow security rules. (fortinet network security)
People often ask me about how to keep IIoT sensor systems safe. Here are some of the most common questions I get about how to keep them safe, as well as some of the basic security steps my organisation recommends.
Hardware security is also important, but what about it? (fortinet network security)
Almost every wireless sensor system has hardware parts that need to be keep safe. Sensors and the on-site gateway that receives their data should be link securely and only to keep other systems from interfering with them and to keep people from getting into the network without permission. Most of us have used wireless data networks at home, so we know this idea already.
As you can see, the principles are the same here. Some wireless vibration sensors on production line equipment should be able to communicate with only the gateway to which they are digitally link, not the gateway in the factory across the street that is link to them. Also, the gateway should not connect to any sensors that are already connect to another gateway, even if the sensors are in the same area as the other gateway.
What about data theft? (fortinet network security)
As data from sensors flows to the gateway, the gateway sends it to the cloud at set times. It could be easy for someone to get into this transmission:
Outside devices can connect to the gateway. This is how it works:
The gateway isn’t inside a firewall.
In this case, the data isn’t protect before it’s send to someone else.
A secure gateway will be set up to block connections from devices outside its sensor network. The gateway should also be able to work inside the customer’s firewalled network. They should be able to reach the external IP address where they’ll send their data through a specific port.
Every time sensor network data is send from the gateway to the cloud, it should be encrypte and sent over a secure connection to keep people from listening in and hackers from being in the middle. To protect IIoT data transmissions sent through Secure Sockets Layer, for example, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) used by both the government and the private sector is a good choice because it can keep data safe (SSL).
The sensor data cloud can be reached by other devices.
Ideal: No. Cloud access to wireless IoT sensor data should only be given to gateways that the customer has registered with the cloud service. Everything else should not be able to connect to the cloud. These steps can keep other devices from talking to the cloud and getting private or proprietary data or destroying it.
What about third-party apps?
Well-designed IIoT sensor systems will have a safe dashboard that lets people see their data in the cloud and get in touch with them. Even though clients who want to make their own apps that work with cloud data from sensors need to have APIs.
The network provider should have an approved API that clients can use to make changes. That API should follow the REST standard for managing endpoint security. Clients who use the API should also be give a unique, safe API key that they can use with a valid username and password to get account data.
The cloud server should then send the user a time-limited authorization token that they can use when they want to get data from the server. This can keep the network’s data from being access even if both the user’s credentials and the API key are later stole.
What about security?
It’s become more important this year to keep people from getting their hands on data in the cloud because so many businesses have moved to remote work and had to make it much easier for their employees to work from home. There has been a rise in the number of data breaches caused by insiders, either intentionally or accidentally, since 2015. This means that about a third of all breaches now involve insiders.
Despite the fact that employees need access to some of their company’s data to do their jobs, very few people need access to all of it. People who aren’t suppose to have access to certain information, like employees, can help protect businesses from accidental or intentional leaks.
The same thing applies to a company’s data from its IoT sensor network. Shift managers, for example, might want to see how their team is doing and where they can improve. They might also want to see how efficient and safe the equipment their workers use during their shifts. However, those managers probably don’t need to see all of the data from the factory, or the analytics that show how productivity and efficiency are trending across the company.
A well-thought-out IoT system will let clients decide who can see what data based on their roles. Usually, these roles give you different levels of access, like:
Then, read the data and make a report.
People who work with data can change the dashboard, lists, notifications, and sensor thresholds that trigger alerts. They can also read data and make reports.
All other roles have the same rights as the network administrator. This person can manage users, Wi-Fi settings, and sensors that are part of the network.
By way of hierarchy, access can also be give if there are subaccounts set up for different departments, subsidiaries, or divisions of the same company. In that case, only people who have access to more than one account can see the subaccounts, and only at the level they have. Change or remove access rights for users at any time. The client is in charge of this.
So, these aren’t the only things that make an IoT sensor system that is safe. Cloud server maintenance and security updates, salting and hashing user passwords stored in the cloud, blacklisting and deactivating gateways that are no longer in use, and deactivating gateways that are no longer in use are also important to keep wireless sensor networks safe.
People who want the efficiency, productivity, and safety benefits of an IIoT sensor system, as well as the peace of mind that comes from having complete security, should follow these tips.