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IoT Compliance: Challenges and Guidelines

Compliance is a recurring challenge for organizations using IoT solutions. There are two main issues that make compliance in IoT so difficult. These are the lack of visibility into what’s happening with devices in the field and the absence of well-defined IoT compliance standards such as those in the IT world.

Compliance in IoT comprises both cyber security and operational challenges. IoT teams need to know whether their devices are secure and working properly at all times (e.g. are firmware versions and passwords up to date?).  These challenges are further accentuated at scale and when devices are deployed at multiple sites.

Let’s take a closer look at these challenges and the steps organizations can take to improve their compliance posture.

Challenges & The Resulting Issues

IoT Security Compliance Challenges IoT devices are often deployed with a default password (or no password at all), extending organizations’ cyber-attack surface.

IoT devices being physically accessible also heightens these threats.

Hackers can easily access IoT devices and:

  • shut them down
  • steal data,
  • delete recording files, or
  • use devices as a pivot to reach the broader network and critical assets.
IoT Operational Compliance Challenges IoT devices are particularly prone to failures, which can impair – and sometimes completely disrupt – organizations’ daily activities.

The lack of visibility into device status makes it even harder to address maintenance issues in a timely manner.

These challenges may lead to:

  • unavailable devices
  • frequent disconnections
  • data loss/data retention issues, and
  • fines for violations of industry regulations.

Guidelines for Strengthening Your IoT Compliance

With the lack of clear-cut, IoT regulatory compliance standards, organizations can define their own policies, based on cyber security and operational criteria. In some cases, they will also have to address existing regulatory directives in place.

issues in operational and cyber security compliance for IoT- SecuriThings

To apply these policies, IoT teams need to continuously monitor both the health and cyber security status of each IoT device. There are three main guidelines for improving compliance in IoT:

  1. Admins must have visibility into all connected devices across sites without having to toggle between multiple screens and systems.
  2. Real-time reporting is crucial for allowing IoT teams to understand their compliance status for all devices across the system (e.g. percentage of passwords and firmware versions to be updated). By integrating with third-party ticketing and SIEM solutions, IoT teams can make sure that follow-ups on discovered compliance issues are tracked and handled in a timely manner.
  3. Lastly, automation of operational tasks, such as password rotation and firmware upgrade, is essential for enabling organizations of all sizes to meet their IoT compliance challenges. Naturally, in large-scale deployments (thousands of devices or more), the need for automation is accentuated.

guidelines for improved compliance in IoT- SecuriThings

Improving IoT Compliance with SecuriThings’ Solution

Ensuring compliance with your organization’s cyber security and operational goals is a constant effort, especially for resource-challenged IoT teams. By automating device monitoring and reporting, organizations can gain real-time visibility over device operational status, enforce organizational policies and continually improve their compliance status.

SecuriThings Enterprise is an IoTOps solution that supports ongoing health and cyber monitoring, compliance reporting and automated operations across IoT devices. Using data, analytics and automation, SecuriThings brings IT management standards and capabilities to the world of IoT.

To read more, download our one-pager about compliance in IoT.

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