The Role of IAM in IOT

The Role of IAM in IOT

“Do you have valid ID?”

We are all used to being asked for valid ID to prove who we say we are. From picking up a parcel at the post office, voting in elections or buying wine (if we are lucky enough to look that young), and in many other situations, proving your identity is a familiar part of modern life.

We are also familiar with proving who we are when using the computing devices that we interact with daily. A password for a work provided laptop, another set of passwords for social media apps, plus fingerprints and face recognition for our mobile devices. We are continually proving who we are to the devices we use.

It’s clear that managing identity and access in the real world and for IT resources is crucial. The same is true for the increasingly ubiquitous devices that are proliferating but don’t get accessed directly by users. More and more objects in the world are being given smart status with embedded computing capability and sensors. This proliferation of smart computing in the physical world is the Internet of Things (IoT), and it brings both benefits and challenges.

Identity in an IoT world

All IoT devices either collect or process data that is then consumed by business systems within organisations. IoT devices have to be networked to do this, and they have to be able to send the data to the right places on the network. As a result of this, they are potential entry points for malicious actors who might want to compromise your systems. Many IoT devices that are deployed have very weak out of the box security settings or protocols.

There are many pillars that security systems need to counter this threat, but one crucial pillar is to have a robust and secure Identity and Access Management (I&AM) system in place for all your IT infrastructure, including for any IoT devices in use. In the same way that you want to be sure that the laptops, mobile phones, and users on web apps who are connecting to your network are who they say they are, you also need to be sure that remote autonomous IoT devices that connect to your network are the devices you think they are, and that they have not been compromised.

A modern, robust, and secure I&AM system that operates across all your network nodes is a crucial part of ensuring integrity in an IoT enabled world. Giving each device that you have on your network a unique identity in the same way that you do for your users has many benefits:

  • The identity account can be traced to a single device at any time.
  • The activity on the network for the account can be monitored for suspicious activity just like any other user account.
  • The account access to the network can be restricted to just the resources it needs thus minimising any threat if the device is compromised.

Renaissance can help you choose

The need for I&AM solutions for devices to help tame the threats from the IoT device proliferation is widely recognised. Many of our trusted partners in digital identity and security have extended or provided new tools in this area that will allow businesses to use IoT more securely.  Entrust Datacard, CA Technologies, and SecurEnvoy all have products that can help businesses implement a robust I&AM solution that covers IOT devices, even those you want to deploy and largely forget.

We can work with you and our trusted security vendors to help you select the best I&AM solutions for your specific needs. Contact us to start the ball rolling so that you can ask everyone and every device that joins your network,

“Do you have valid ID?”

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