The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way that we interact with normal devices. instead of hardware items being completely independent of each other, devices now communicate with each other via the internet.
It started out with the simple reporting of a machine’s stock levels, but since then has developed dramatically far beyond that.
From smart homes, to automated transport and medical services, more and more devices are communicating information via the internet.
While high levels of convenience are being provided, the inter-connectivity of devices Is raising other questions, such as access to information being transmitted and security of that data.
Many of these IoT systems will be located in our homes or transmitting personal information across the web. Because of this, there are certain security issues and some concerns about the type of information being shared and how it is being protected.
Our Top Security Challenges of IoT in Retail
IoT is changing retail, but not without presenting some new security concerns for companies producing and implementing it.
- Data Breaches – IoT devices in retail share a lot of information that is vital to the companies operation. Data breaches can lead to the resale of this information, damage to reputation, and even legal action.
- GDPR Compliance – If any customers are from the EU or UK, the service provider could face large fines from GDPR if the handling of a EU/UK citizens data does not meet GDPR compliance regulations.
- Slave Devices – Many devices actually require a reasonable amount of computing power to do what they do. Because of this, they are often hacked to use as servers, or for DDos attacks.
- Standard Default Logins – If IoT devices are introduced into a retail environment, then at least one staff member should know how to set them up properly and securely. Using the standard logins such as ‘Admin’ or a password like ‘123456’ is just asking to have problems later.
- Hacked Devices – Hacked devices can be used as slaves for outside reasons, but they can also be used to disrupt a business. From ordering things that aren’t needed, to doing things that weren’t intended, a hacked device can present financial and operational issues.
- Insufficient Security – Many devices don’t come with much security and openly broadcast their location via the IP used. As a precaution, a VPS can both hide the location of the device and also add a secondary layer of security.
- Damage from Hacking/Malware – IoT Sensors and devices provide quite a security risk in the first place. Not only are they recording information, but a hacker or malware program that gains access could actually damage the device itself, or something it can affect. Cars have been remotely hijacked and even a nuclear facility damaged via hacking of the IoT devices. Repairs can be expensive and sometimes the damage caused is irreparable.
Things are progressing at a rapid pace. Automation and inter-connectivity can revolutionize businesses and the way we do things. However, it is also important to consider the problems that introducing them could create.
By consulting a security expert, or having a team member fully learn about securing IoT solutions, companies can avoid costly issues later.
IoT is already here and is becoming almost unavoidable in retail, with self service checkouts, automated stocks, automated payments via smart devices and more … all managed and transmitted across the web. To stay competitive, you will need IoT to some degree, so start planning how it should be introduced properly.