The gravest concern after choosing the right M2M platform and overcoming the challenges in the process of implementation is securing it. While leveraging an M2M platform, companies connect their workforces and mobile resources for gathering or exchanging a lot of data – data that isvaluable for business, is the backbone of the system, and forms the base for decision making. The various applications on the platform that help run the system efficiently are also important business assets. However, as our dependence on such platforms and the number of objects/people interacting through them increases, the issue of security grows even more complex. Moreover, the threats come from both direct and indirect attackers, complicating matters further. Hence security for any solution, must be seen on the following attributes
The Need of the Hour
Today, machine-to-machine interactions create an ecosystem of connected devices that help achieve organisational objectives. A holistic approach to securing your M2M platform is, thus, imperative for safeguarding assets in an automated computing environment. The M2M environment usually consists of three main units: vertical-specific machine-to-machine devices, wired and wireless communication networks and the machine-to-machine backend server. For the system to work efficiently, an effective security strategy spanning all these facets without hindering the flow of information is required.So what businesses need is an end-to-end measure to counter the risks inherent in an M2M environment for ensuring:
There are three basic principles of security, regardless of the platform or environment.
Today, all the components of an M2M ecosystem are prone to:
This means the M2M framework must have checkpoints at various levels so as to ensure that the security of the platform isn’t jeopardised.
A Concept-based Model
Communication channels between the various components of an M2M environment can be secured through authorisation, authentication and encryption. This would entail creating a model based on realms and user/s or authorities, where
Once such a model is in place, is would become easier to ensure that the ability of executing certain functionalities is dependent on permission and ownership. Permissions and access controls should be role-based and explicitly define what a user can and cannot do. This would also ensure that once a command is executed, the user is responsible for the changes reflecting on the system as a result.
The access to resources should be protected through authorization and authentication. The user could login with a username and password assigned to him. Also, to take it a step further, timelines could be defined wherein a user could gain access to the resources only for a limited time period with prior authorization granted by another user with more privileges.
In addition, security-relevant events should be logged. Whenever a user makes any changes to the data, application, access rights, etc. that might have an effect on the functioning of the system, the event should be recorded for reference or auditing purposes. This would increase transparency and ensure ownership.
Moreover, as the number of machine-to-machine transactions continues to increase, not only must the M2M platforms be physically secure, but outgoing information must also be encrypted to ensure that vital corporate data is not compromised.
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