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Securing the IoT “Security Nightmare” is a Massive Opportunity for Service Providers

Anyone who has used the Internet has had some brush a cyber security breach. Data breaches, phishing attacks, malware, and ransomware are forms of malicious Internet activity that can put personal data at risk. It stands to reason that while more and more consumers are adopting connected and smart devices, there is a growing concern for the lack of cybersecurity surrounding IoT. Smart security solutions start with the home Wi-Fi network. By establishing a secured home Wi-Fi environment, service providers can create an umbrella of security in which IoT devices fall under.

IoT Security Magnitude

It is now estimated that there will be 75.44 billion installed IoT devices in 2025. IoT devices range from virtual assistants to smart appliances to connected cars. Business Insider predicts that 75% of new cars will include built-in IoT connectivity by this year. With such aggressive growth in IoT adoption and improvements in IoT technology, it’s curious that device security hasn’t improved much. Historically, there have been no strict regulations in place for IoT devices. California addressed growing IoT security concerns by passing legislation that would require manufacturers to secure IoT devices back in 2018. The UK proposed similar requirements that call for “reasonable” security features to be implemented in any device that connects to the Internet. IoT security regulation is long overdue and is only the first step in creating a secure IoT environment.

IoT Security Statistics at a Glance:

  • In the first half of 2019, attacks on IoT devices tripled.
  • According to Innovation Enterprise, 90% of developers believe that IoT products aren’t equipped with sufficient security features.
  • Bitdefender found that 60% of Americans never update their router’s firmware, leaving the Wi-Fi network vulnerable to security threats.
  • 70% of IoT devices found on the market are vulnerable to security issues.

The Race for Consumer Trust

There’s an urgent need for increased security in connected homes, particularly to protect IoT devices such as smart TVs, smart thermostats, connected gaming consoles, security cameras and other smart appliances that do not run security software. With Optim’s Advanced Security provided by F-Secure, the home router can protect every device connected to it, including vulnerable IoT devices.  Service providers have the opportunity to implement a holistic solution that not only secures IoT devices but creates an advanced security umbrella over the entire Wi-Fi network. Optim’s solution is viable across both complex and basic home Wi-Fi networks and offers new value to existing services. Service providers play an important role in their consumer’s connectivity, so where security is concerned, subscribers lean on, and trust their providers to provide solutions. Optim Managed Service Assurance Platform is a managed Wi-Fi solution that builds on the existing subscriber and provider relationship, and can provide security protection for all IoT connected devices via Optim’s Cloud and Cloud Agent.

 

Self-Serve Wi-Fi Management

Traditionally, network security begins with the router. Many subscribers already opt to get their Wi-Fi network equipment directly from their service providers for convenience. Typically, subscriber consideration of network security ends once the network has been password protected and a guest network has been established. In order for the network to remain secure, the network and equipment require diligent maintenance. Out of date firmware, default router settings and even guest networks make the entire Wi-Fi network vulnerable to bots, hackers and malware. While these are all actionable elements of home networking, 34% of consumers aren’t even sure how to change their router settings. Managed Wi-Fi addresses the complex nature of home networking by putting all the actionable elements of the network onto an easy-to-use dashboard. From the user-friendly dashboard, subscribers can review the devices connected to their network, remove unknown devices, and beef up network security settings. With managed Wi-Fi, updating firmware and maintaining network passwords is easier than ever.

Advanced Security

Optim’s advanced security features are powered by leading cyber security experts, F-Secure. Optim goes beyond basic router security to provide modern solutions to IoT security issues. These features include:

  • Browsing protection – This feature helps block sites with suspicious or malicious URL and domain reputation without impacting the user’s browsing experience.
  • Malware protection – Optim’s malware protection offers protection against viruses, Trojans, spyware, and ransomware.
  • Botnet protection – Botnet security is an essential component when securing IoT devices on the network. Botnet attacks steal data, send spam, and allow the attacker to access the infected device and the network connection. Optim prevents infected devices from connecting to the attacker by blocking traffic from the device to the server.
  • Anomaly detection – Powered by machine learning, Optim’s anomaly detection learns normal Wi-Fi network traffic patterns for the devices connected. If a change in behavior is detected, Optim can notify users or automatically block the anomaly.

F-Secure security features are tightly integrated into the Optim cloud platform and Optim agent that resides in the home gateway or router. Service providers can quickly activate security services on any Optim-enabled gateway without having to upgrade the firmware or swap out hardware. Further, Optim’s agent is hardware agnostic and is currently running on a variety of Wi-Fi routers and gateways.

IoT requires a proactive approach to network security. Through managed Wi-Fi solutions, service providers to take an active role in their subscribers’ networking experience. With the necessary security tools, subscribers can have peace of mind when adopting additional connected and smart devices.

To learn more about what Optim can do for your business and customers, contact our Actiontec Team directly or check out the Optim website.

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