The rise of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) have transformed the corporate world. As a futuristic technology, IoT (Internet of Things) has a significant impact on every industry sector and the retail sector is no exception. As per the prediction of Global Market Insights, IoT is expected to hit over $35 billion globally by 2024 in the retail sector.
The exponential growth of the IoT concept in retail has also increased security concerns because the sector is highly competitive and deals with endpoint devices that can be compromised easily to get the customer’s confidential data. Therefore, IoT-based security concerns in the retail sector need to be eliminated. As per the CSO Online finding, more than 90% of data exchanged across IoT devices are not encrypted and remain vulnerable.
With a CAGR or over 28% over the next five years, IoT will fetch more than $94 billion in revenue in the retail sector alone. This much heavy impact of IoT causes around 4000 cyber threats every year for the retail industry. IoT security also remains in the list of the top IoT app development trends in the year 2019. Let’s discuss how we can help the retail industry overcome the potential IoT security threats.
Tips to Eliminate IoT Security Threats
This is the best technique to safeguard your retail network. There is no guarantee of 100% security, and therefore, retailers should segment their internal network to stay protected against cyber attacks. Diverse network segmentation approaches like Demilitarized Zones, IT management network , VoIP network, security network, and Industrial control system can be adopted. Though network segmentation is one of the most trusted security practices, it is also one of the most poorly addressed practices to date. Internal network segmentation enables retailers to use multiple levels of authentication methods for processing credit card transactions within their networks.
This is also a major factor to consider to eliminate IoT security threats in the Retail sector. Third-party vendors who provide you smart devices to build an IoT network should be security conscious and proactive for vulnerabilities. Still, many retailers have either a lack of a proper inventory of IoT devices or they are unaware of the vendor’s security assessment for IoT risks.
Cybercriminals can compromise these PoS (Point of Sale) systems from third-party vendors by accessing the network through VPN (Virtual Private Network) access. It can cause breaches and put confidential information of thousands of millions of users at stake.
Many companies have deployed insecure IoT devices with vulnerable firmware. Talking about the retail sector, business owners tend to integrate the IoT network for enhancing the customer’s shopping experience using RFID tags, GPS sensors, etc. Also, the IoT network can assist retailers to improve supply chain management. Customized IoT solutions can facilitate retailers to ease out their operations. But then, in these solutions, there are several endpoints that are highly vulnerable and cybercriminals can use them for hacking. It is possible to run malicious scripts and commands.
Retailers can implement a few measures like WIPS (Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems) and network encryption techniques to reduce the risk.
It is imperative to determine any anonymous entity and block it. The real-time network monitoring enables retailers to keep external intruders away and keep the other online attacks at bay. The third-party vendor can establish connectivity rules in line with the behavior of smart devices. As a result, smart devices communicate information with a particular source. AI technology can identify any suspicious or abnormal activities on the network instantly. Network monitoring software can be powered by AI technology to find out any unusual behaviors.
In a way, network monitoring can track and stop any compromised devices so that retailers can take a prompt action while limiting the damage.
It is beneficial for your retail business to follow the best practices to ensure IoT security. You should spread awareness about security threats among your employees and arrange a webinar or workshop for making them ready to take preventive measures. Retailers can also develop an inventory for their network, upgrade firmware, and change passwords regularly. These are all basic and yet trusted security best practices for IoT-powered network.
At times, companies also provide backdoor access to remote workers or employees. Though is it is useful for customer support executives, hackers and people with malicious intentions can exploit this address to cause harm to the system. Finally, as a retailer, you need to buy any new device after having information on all its potential vulnerabilities.
The retail sector has adopted the IoT concept to fetch more data about customer’s buying behavior and bring automation in several processes. But then, the growing scope of IoT in the sector also increases the security risks. With the increase in the number of connected devices, new forms of vulnerabilities emerge on the market. Therefore, retailers need to keep an eye on the IoT-powered retail business model.
Implementation of stringent measures mentioned above can help retailers eliminate potential IoT security threats from the sector.