In this blog, we will investigate why IoT Security Compliances are of utmost importance for IoT products and who all should be aware of such security compliances for an IoT Product. We will address these with the help of a few questions.
1. Who are the key stakeholders for IoT Security Compliances and Guidelines?
IoT Security Compliances and Guidelines will help:
- IoT security architects and software architects to create end-to-end secure architecture for an IoT product.
- Product owners and release managers responsible for delivery of IoT products
- IoT developers to develop IoT product securely at all stages.
- IoT security pen testers can form a checklist from these guidelines covering the entire scope viz. hardware, software, OS, wireless communication, web application, mobile application, and cloud.
2. Why is it important?
- In different industries such as automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, etc. addressing various problem statements and use cases, means following different IoT architectures. The IoT Security Compliances and Guidelines will try to provide a unified approach for such a variety of applications.
- Not only these guidelines have unified the approach but also have classified the IoT products based on the level of security they need. This is called as class. E.g., Class 0 IoT product is treated as the one with the least requirements of security measures (weather monitoring station) and Class 4 can be considered as Class 4 level of security such as mission-critical applications (satellites, nuclear security IoT products)
3. Why it is important for companies to adopt IoT Security Compliances and Guidelines?
- IoT device manufacturers can use these guidelines at any stage viz. design, development, deployment, production, testing, and maintenance to address the security measures.
4. Advantage on company level
- Companies can ensure that the product is secure at each stage against the threats
IoT Security Compliance Framework – IoTSF
Having discussed the importance of IoT security compliances and guidelines we will move further to address specific IoT security compliance framework IoT Security Foundation.
In the previous blog about IoT Security compliances, we have discussed a list of various agencies, their compliances, and guidelines. IoTSF is one of the leading non-profit organizations for creating such guidelines for IoT security. IoTSF addresses the basic CIA triad (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability) as the foundation for assessing security post the comprehensive risk assessment is performed.
Amongst many security guidelines and compliances, IoTSF has addressed security issues for an IoT product in depth considering the whole IoT stack in consideration. IoTSF provides assurance questionnaires (previously addressed as compliance questionnaires) that cover the following components:
- IoT Hardware
- Firmware, Software & OS
- Web Application
- Mobile Application
- Communication interfaces (Wired & Wireless)
- Encryption and Key management
- Authentication and authorization
- Cloud and networking interface
Not only technical but it also covers some of the business and governance-related aspects such as:
- Business Security Processes and Responsibility
- Security supply chain
Another important quality of IoTSF Assurance framework is about compliance class. IoTSF contains compliance class viz. Class 0 to Class 4 based on CIA triad with Class 4 as highest of CIA triad as shown below.
E.g., Consider the data logger with ARM cortex M4 MCU as a central processor with sensors such as temperature, pressure, and humidity with a communication protocol such as Bluetooth Low Energy.
When this device is deployed in a weather monitoring station the level of security required is low and it may be considered Class 0, on the other hand, the same device is deployed in a petroleum plant where hazardous processes are being supervised with this IoT device, in that scenario the same device will have a high level of security and classified under Class 4 of compliance class
The above-mentioned points in the IoTSF compliance checklist will also cover the detailed sub points that are mandatory and advisory for specific compliance class. Refer IoT Security Assurance Framework , Release 3.0, Nov 2021 for more details.
To summarize, IoT security guidelines and compliance help secure an IoT product at each stage and each step. All the key stakeholders associated with an IoT product can be an integral part of it from a security perspective. IoTSF is such assurance framework that provides IoT security guidelines for various components in IoT products. A particularly important feature of IoTSF is assigning the compliance class for a product based on the CIA triad and use case.
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