Non-traditional Device Security

Cisco, the networking giant, estimates there will be 50 billion Internet-connected devices by 2020. These include currently non-connected devices such as cardiac implant monitors, household and industrial appliances, mechanical sensors, and many others that are expected to come online in the next decade. For nonprofits that provide medical services or monitoring systems keeping them secure can seem daunting. For their clients or patients, it can be scary.

Something is beginning to be in use that may be useful for your nonprofit to consider. It’s the creation of  digital management certificates such as those offered by Verizon Enterprise Solutions. This cloud-based platform enables the management of these digital certificates for a wide range of Internet-connected devices, commonly referred to as the “Internet of Things.” The certificates allow organizations to make sure devices aren’t spoofed and that the data received from devices is legitimate. It also allows them to  ensure that the integrity of sensitive data sent to and from such devices is kept intact.

Regulatory bodies governing various segments of the Internet of Things have also weighed in on security issues. They have worked proactively to improve data protection. In the U.S., several regulatory bodies, including National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have published mandatory security controls for certain device types, and those controls rely on digital certificates for security assurance.

Though various regulations will have specific requirements for securing Internet-connected devices, digital certificates are  considered the first line of defense.

We encourage you to read more about the solutions and regulations.

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