How Cool is IoT Security?
2021-04-22 Marcellus Buchheit
I was glad to see that security found its niche in CRN’s rundown of the 50 coolest IoT companies of 2021 along with other companies who have launched innovative connectivity, hardware, industrial IoT, and software IoT technology solutions. In such listings, security technology is typically overlooked, rarely referred to as cool, and not even considered the least bit sexy. But call it what you want, solutions geared toward protecting networks and Industrial systems from IoT-based cyberattacks has vaulted security technologies to the forefront of the IoT economy. While the global pandemic slowed down the IoT juggernaut in 2020, it seems that the industry is poised for another growth spurt as indicated by increased investment in IoT technologies, recently reported in a Gartner survey.
Some of the new wave of IoT security solutions leverage emerging technologies like blockchain, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence while others illustrate new, innovative use cases for more mature technologies like public and private key cryptography, authentication, and authorization techniques. Other solutions are focused on securing devices and data in specific industries like transportation and healthcare. In any case, the common denominator is protection of connected IoT devices from malicious cyberattacks.
Let’s take a quick look at the 10 Coolest IoT Security Companies and their innovative technologies as noted by CRN:
- Armis – asset management solution that gives organization expanded visibility and control of devices remotely connecting to corporate devices.
- Claroty – operational technology and industrial IoT security offerings, such as secure remote access that can shut down attacks that occur during remote sessions.
- GlobalSign – hardening IoT device security through encryption, authentication, and authorization mechanisms.
- Karamba Security – automated security management and threat detection for large fleets of devices.
- Medigate – helping healthcare organizations identify, manage, and secure medical devices with a security and analytics platform.
- Ockam – hardened security and data privacy for IoT deployments using cryptography and blockchain technology.
- Ordr – secure and control connected devices on corporate IT networks with an AI-based system control engine.
- ReFirm Labs – deep visibility into 3rd party IoT device vulnerabilities to ensure compliance to security and compliance requirements.
- Sepio Systems – protecting organizations against troublesome IoT devices with rogue device mitigation software.
- Vdoo – automated product vulnerability monitoring.
While these emerging security companies are making headlines and turning heads in the financial community and with industry analysts, let’s not overlook the significant contributions in these areas made by industry organizations. The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), for example, has been focused on accelerating growth of the Industrial IoT by promoting best practices across multiple areas to speed safe commercial use of IoT technologies. The technical collaborations by IIC, whose members include technology innovators like Wibu-Systems, Infineon Technologies, and many other corporations, universities, and government organizations have led to several publications, white papers, test bed analyses, and other initiatives that provide the expert guidance and best practices to help launch these new technologies successfully into commercial operation.
One critical area of focus of the IIC is security. The IIoT is being shaped by many participants from the energy, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and public sectors, and each area needs to address security, in some shape or form. To identify security hazards and mitigate vulnerabilities, it is important to build early consensus among the participants on the best approach to implementing a sound IIoT security strategy.
The Industrial Internet Security Framework Technical Document released by IIC in 2016, remains as one of the most in-depth cross-industry-focused security publications to provide a broad industry consensus on how to secure Industrial IoT systems. The security framework represents a great example of how industry organizations can help lay the foundation to guide emerging companies and accelerate the commercial application of their next generation technology innovations.
Co-founder of WIBU-SYSTEMS AG, President and CEO of WIBU-SYSTEMS USA
Marcellus Buchheit earned his Master of Science degree in computing science at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany in 1989, the same year in which he co-founded Wibu-Systems. He is well known for designing innovative techniques to protect software against reverse-engineering, tampering, and debugging. He speaks frequently at industry events and is an active member of the Industrial Internet Consortium. He currently serves as the President and CEO of Wibu-Systems USA Inc.