The Importance of IoT Security in a Connected World


By the end of 2023, reports estimate the world will have over 16.7 billion connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This means there will be a tremendous amount of potentially vulnerable targets if they are not properly protected. As the world continues to implement more networks, the importance of IoT security will grow in order to maintain confidence in such devices and systems.

What is IoT Security?

The Internet of Things (IoT) can be defined as the network of software-embedded objects that connect and exchange data with themselves and other devices. IoT security focuses on safeguarding connected devices and networks in the Internet of Things. In other words, this technology segment can be understood as a cyber security strategy.

The Importance of IoT Security

Because troves of valuable and private data flow through IoT devices, they are extremely at risk for cyber attacks. Every device added to a network expands its digital attack surface, which is the number of weak points where an unauthorized user can access the system. This constant exposure to potential data theft and other invasions makes the need for IoT security solutions even more crucial.

While efficient, the interconnectedness of IoT devices unfortunately adds to the threat. Through just one compromised device, a hacker can gain access to the whole system. In a corporate environment where IoT devices are deployed on the network, they have access to the company’s sensitive data and critical systems. Cyber criminals commonly target unprotected printers, smart lighting, and other office devices to gain access to the network and its data.

With IoT, the use of sensors and smart devices to collect data for smart automation specifically benefits the fields of civil engineering, urban planning, and smart cities. Understanding the impacts of the data collected can help with the safe distribution of energy, assist in new structural designs and upgrades, and support the secure interconnection of IoT within smart cities.

Who Is Responsible?

Global legislation defines who is accountable for IoT Security. In the United States, the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act requires government agencies to review their IoT-related risks. Agencies must also adopt best practices for security. IoT device companies are legally responsible for ensuring their products are as secure as possible. Manufacturers are at fault for compromises and vulnerabilities. Given that a company’s product developers are at the front end of these discussions, IoT security is an important skill to master. 

Any technical professional, from network security engineers to project managers, can benefit from learning about the valuable craft of IoT security. 

Is Your IoT Network Secure?

Ensure the reliability of your company’s IoT network! IEEE Educational Activities, in partnership with IEEE Internet of Things Technical Community, developed the course program All About IoT Security to provide insight for defending IoT networks from threats. Comprised of six courses, this online training covers the challenges and opportunities around IoT security, botnet detection, and malware forensics. The program also goes more in depth, looking at business case studies, blockchain applications, and directing network traffic.

Connect with an IEEE Content Specialist today to learn how to get access to this program for your organization.

Interested in access for yourself? Visit the IEEE Learning Network (ILN).




What Is An Attack Surface? Fortinet.

What Is IoT Security? Check Point.

H.R.1668 – IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020.

Sinha, Satyajit. (24 May 2023). State of IoT 2023: Number of connected IoT devices growing 16% to 16.7 billion globally. IoT Analytics.

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