The Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere. An estimated 75 billion IoT devices will be in use by 2025 ranging from home appliances to precise industrial equipment, to life-saving medical devices, and everything in between. How does Networking 2.0 fit in? IoT is revolutionizing just about every imaginable industry, but it introduces some serious security risks, including:
- Added attack surfaces: every IoT device added currently creates a potential entry point for cyber attackers.
- Insecure communication channels: IoT devices often communicate over insecure channels, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This makes it easy for attackers to intercept data transmissions and steal sensitive information.
- Insecure firmware updates: IoT devices often receive firmware updates over the air, and if providers do not secure these updates, attackers can use them to install malware or backdoors on the devices.
Most companies have been applying Networking 1.0 enterprise security measures, such as firewalls and VPNs, to their IoT devices. This approach, however, presents problems: IoT devices typically lack the capacity to support a firewall, maintaining VPNs is complex, and managing both incurs high costs.
In both situations, network managers usually need to assign static IP addresses and open ports in the firewall for the devices, which turns into a network management nightmare. Moreover, if a third party owns the backhaul network, setting this up can be incredibly time-consuming.
The industry is in dire need of a much more lightweight, simple alternative. Enter, Networking 2.0.
What is Networking 2.0?
Networking 2.0 is not a single piece of software that runs on a specific set of hardware. It is software, and in some instances, protocols designed around a set of ideas and principles; addressability, privacy, and context. Networking 2.0 sits on top of the TCP transport layer and is compatible with all the same systems as TCP. The physical, datalink, and network layers stay the same, so there’s no huge system replacement needed.
You can implement Networking 2.0 in various ways across nearly limitless use cases. It simplifies the management of remote LoRaWAN gateways and secures IoT devices by enabling data transmission and full access for authorized admins without the need for any open, listening network ports.
How Networking 2.0 Solves IoT Security Risks
At its highest level, Networking 2.0 makes anything addressable, with clear data ownership and control, allows contextual responses, and is inherently private and cryptographically secure. It includes several security features to protect IoT devices, including:
- No open (listening) ports – with Networking 2.0, every IoT device performs all necessary functions and authorized administrators can access them without opening any attack surfaces.
- Strong authentication: Networking 2.0 devices use strong authentication methods, such as certificates and public key cryptography, to verify the identity of each device, person, and organization.
- Encryption: Networking 2.0 communications are encrypted using a combination of symmetric (AES256) and public key cryptography so that if communications are ever intercepted, they are useless to bad actors.
Networking 2.0 is a promising approach to IoT security that has the potential to significantly improve the security of these devices and the data they collect. As IoT continues to grow, Networking 2.0 will become increasingly important.