IoT Security: How to Protect Zettabytes of Device-Generated Data

MARCH 15TH, 2022

The internet of things (IoT) has changed the world, with Ericsson predicting that there will be around 18 billion IoT-related devices this year.

This massive increase in connected devices—from connected cars and fitness trackers to smart homes and factories—is expected to generate a stunning 79 zettabytes of data by 2025. To help you wrap your head around that number, one zettabyte is about equal to one billion terabytes (TB).

More devices also mean more vulnerable attack surfaces. That adds new challenges for businesses and the IT pros tasked with protecting precious data. IoT data is now a growing target for hackers, with some 1.51 billion IoT breaches occurring in the first half of 2021 alone as hackers find new backdoor entry points that aren’t adequately secured or even on your radar.

For IT pros, all that data generated by IoT devices adds more complexity to cybersecurity efforts. The data needs to be collected and managed, then fed into AI algorithms so you can extract insights that support business objectives. IoT data also needs to be saved and protected because of its relevance to ongoing decision-making. It can’t be deleted or archived as may have been done in the past.

Things get even more complex because the more data there is, the more critical it becomes. Businesses, homes, appliances, and even healthcare systems depend on IoT devices. If an IoT device goes down, it can not only hurt businesses and consumers; it can threaten human lives.

So how do you save and secure those zettabytes of IoT data? It’s crucial to consider the cost of a breach or downtime as you weigh the best approach for efficiently restoring your organization’s IoT and other data. We’ve all seen the statistics, and the cost of a single hour of downtime can permanently take down an entire business. Here are our recommendations.

Three Steps to Securing Your IoT Data
1. Make Sure All of Your IoT Devices are Visible

IoT devices aren’t typically built with security as a priority. Ease of use, low costs, and connectivity come first. Most don’t feature built-in security controls, and updates and patches aren’t pushed out often. That makes IoT an attractive target for hackers. 

Start by making sure you know about every IoT device on your network. Keep a detailed inventory of all connected IoT assets. Then, with visibility into each of your IoT endpoints, you need to ramp up your password security efforts because many IoT devices come with weak preset passwords. That means every time an IoT device is connected to your network, the installed password is replaced with one that is more complex and secure.

You also need to put an IoT patch-management program in place. While most IT systems get regular software updates to patch security vulnerabilities, that isn’t the case with IoT devices. A regulated patch-management upgrade strategy is another step toward avoiding data loss.

2. Make Data Protection a Priority

As with all of your data, IoT data should be secured using the 3-2-1-1 data-protection strategy: Keep three backup copies of your data on two different media (disk or tape, for example), with one of those copies located offsite or in the cloud to support disaster recovery. The final one stands for keeping one copy of your data in immutable object storage.

Immutable object storage continuously keeps your IoT data safe by taking snapshots of it every 90 seconds. Snapshots give you point-in-time data recovery, so if you get hit by downtime, a disaster, or ransomware attack, snapshots let you roll back to a file state before the incident.

Immutable snapshots can’t be altered, overwritten, or deleted, delivering data integrity and protection from loss caused by human error, hardware failure, and ransomware attacks. Immutable snapshots make it possible for your organization to avoid IoT device downtime and ensure business continuity—even during a disaster or ransomware attack.

3. Choose the right partners

IoT is quickly evolving, with innovative new devices coming online every day. Even small companies deploy new IoT systems that produce massive amounts of data. Regardless of your company’s size—SMB or global enterprise—you need to be able to adapt to these changes.

That demands a data storage and data recovery partner that’s agile and has the expertise required to help you stay ahead of hackers, keep your data safe, and make it easy for you to manage and recover your data if disaster strikes.

Final takeaway

You already know that data is the pulse of your business, and IoT data is no different. Get expert help securing all of your data by working with an Arcserve technology partner. Or contact us to learn more about Arcserve IoT data protection solutions.

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