IoT’s dramatic impact on IAM
July 16, 2014

The Internet of Things is a new title that has been given to a trend which now traces its history back several decades, as it is used to define the shift toward devices that connect to the World Wide Web. IoT is a bit more prevalent in certain sectors than others, with manufacturing and health care likely experiencing the most rapid expansion of Internet-connected devices entering into the corporate framework, though one would be hard-pressed to find an industry that does not need to begin preparations for this trend. 

When looking around the modern workplace, household or even out on the street, the sheer volume and diversity of devices that are present is breathtaking, especially considering what would have been the case only a decade ago. Decision-makers in organizations from every sector that have not started to shore up defenses ahead of IoT must do so soon, as identity and access management has been confounded by this next-generation trend. 

The price paid
Forbes recently argued that the IoT comes with a variety of costs that specifically relate to management, governance and security, including identity and access management controls, and that traditional passwords and credentials are simply not going to cut it when device diversity peaks. This is an argument that has become far more prevalent in the past few years, especially following major breaches that struck the retail and health care industries, in that antiquated passwords and controls are not protecting sensitive data or systems from modern threats. 

The source explained that while organizations are tasked with creating their own internal policies and procedures to protect their systems throughout IoT deployments, many are waiting for regulators to pass more stringent standards and legislation to get the process moving along more quickly. Although enhanced regulatory compliance and security standards do not necessarily ensure that all data will be protected, it can light a fire that speeds decision-makers in the private sector up on their own refinements and advances. 

According to the news provider, IoT will simply not reach a full level of maturity in which all businesses and consumers are demanding the advanced and myriad devices until security performances and standards have been ironed out. Consumers and business leaders have become far more mindful of the threats that come with data exposure, leakage and loss, and are already more vigilant when choosing their vendors and service providers for these reasons. 

What can be done?
A good example of strong identity and access management in the age of IoT is multi-factor authentication, which works to play off the convenience and speed of Internet-connected devices through more intuitive controls. Whereas password management, at its best, is a complex and arduous task for employees and consumers alike, authentication tools that anchor identities to the devices themselves will reduce errors, rogue activities and other obstacles standing in the way of optimal outcomes. 

Leveraging next-generation dynamic authentication tools can allow organizations and households alike to enjoy the benefits of IoT without putting their data and identities at risk.