Businesses have long become accustomed to utilizing security protocols such as firewalls and compliance engines to protect proprietary data on their computer networks. However, with the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), data now is regularly transferred across the internet from SIM-enabled devices to management platforms. Without protocols in place to protect IoT data transfers, sensitive operational information will be moved across the public and open internet, leaving it highly vulnerable to compromise from hacking, eavesdropping, or information leakage. To prevent these kinds of data compromise, IoT networks must employ security protocols that can extend their network across the internet to privately connect their devices. This type of security connection is called a virtual private network (VPN).
A virtual private network employs encryption methods to create a secure pathway between IoT devices and a company network, allowing devices to send and receive data through a private link as if they were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across a VPN may, therefore, benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network and have secure access to devices via the internet.
How VPNs Keep IoT Data Secure
In the world of IoT, a VPN is essential to protecting company data from compromise. An IoT device is susceptible as soon as it is connected to the public internet, leaving the information open to being stolen or altered by viruses, malicious programs, or hackers. VPNs are a way for data to be encrypted and protected as it travels from device to platform so that would-be attacks are either repelled or come away with incomprehensible characters that would take a prohibitive amount of time and resources to decrypt. When combined with other measures such as SIM data and roaming caps, antivirus and cloud storage software, and device security, VPNs provide a necessary defense-in-depth strategy that ensures companies receive all of the benefits of SIM-enabled IoT solutions without the fear of data compromise.
Due to the specialized nature of most IoT tasks, SIM-enabled M2M devices usually are developed with low computing power. As a result, device encryption cannot be as robust as it is on personal computers. Using VPN technology, a secure pathway, called a VPN tunnel, is made between the IoT application server and the company’s management platform, filtering data with strong encryption before it is sent over the public internet.
By using a VPN, companies also gain transparent network access to their IoT devices. Network connections can be initiated from a management platform towards the device with no limitation of network protocol, allowing operators to pull IoT data from the device instead of waiting for those devices to push the data to the platform. This on-demand network data access results in highly optimized, flexible, and secure data usage that ensures immediate access to IoT devices when it is needed.
Secure IoT Data and Access with Neo
Neo SIMs on the Aeris network provide complete encryption of communication between our customers’ IoT devices and their corporate network, all while reducing the need for an application-layer level of encryption. With our proprietary set of APIs, any device is accessible from the public internet through a VPN that ensures device security while exchanging data and information. The Aeris network is designed such that all network elements, including the IoT / M2M devices, are protected from access outside Aeris to the maximum extent possible.
(Photo Source: Privacy Canada, https://privacycanada.net)
Security is further enhanced by segmenting the Aeris network by customer accounts and then segmenting customer accounts by service names. Using these service names to separate traffic prevents access from one customer server (and their devices) to another customer server (and their devices) within the network.
Device connectivity and management is simple, flexible, and secure when backed and organized by the award-winning AerPort Management Platform.
For more information on how our VPN can benefit your organization, contact Neo today.