To Secure IoT, Vendors Must Put Security at Core of Their Products
Accenture's managing director for Electronics and High Technology advocates for making security a core element of all IoT platforms—and for vendors to have chief security officers.As opportunities in the emerging Internet of things (IoT) market grow, so too do the associated security risks that organizations need to consider. Sami Luukkonen, global managing director for the Accenture's Electronics and High Technology business, is seeing vendors of all shapes and sizes coming to his organization asking about IoT, and they're all worried about security. "For the past six months, security concerns have really been raised by industry players, due to media attention around cyber-attacks," Luukkonen told eWEEK. "All the attention has really woken vendors up to the risks and consequences of an attack." There wasn't such attention on security prior to the last six months. Before, the big issue was around the privacy of consumer data, he said. Luukkonen sees the shift in focus to security as a sign of maturity in the IoT business. For many of the top vendors in electronics, IoT is at the top of their agendas for new initiatives, Luukkonen said. "The opportunity for IoT is tremendous, and everybody is going after it," he said. "At the same time, vendors realize that they are introducing a huge number of open interfaces that could be open to attack."
For the full potential of IoT to be realized, it needs to be secured, according to Luukkonen. While open ports on devices are a risk, simply locking down ports is not the entire solution to the IoT security challenge. In his view, it's important for vendors to remember that any one product is part of a broader ecosystem. For example, modern vehicles have complex in-vehicle entertainment platforms that integrate components and technologies from multiple sources—through which there is a risk of a malicious download to the car's entertainment system. Even when an app is not made by the car vendor, it is incumbent upon the car vendor to protect users against the risk.