Enhancing IoT Security with AWS

May 04,2020

Does your organization make devices that collect and rely on data? If so, here are some reasons why you should consider using AWS to enhance the security of your IoT devices. These devices are often vulnerable by nature due to their wide usage and geographical distribution. AWS Internet of Things (IoT) services work with commercial, home, and industrial companies to better connect applications for traffic monitoring, home security, product assembly, and more. 

Using AWS to configure IoT can help protect your data, as AWS offers services for all layers of IoT security. Easily scalable, AWS IoT’s security features are both preventative and responsive, able to respond instantly to security breaches. It’ll encrypt your data and control it remotely while auditing and monitoring configurations. Every device will need a credential to interact with AWS IoT, credentials that you’ll be responsible for creating, assigning, and managing. 

To authenticate devices, you must use an X.509 certificate or an Amazon Cognito Identity. To use these, you should understand public key cryptography

If you’re working with small, low power-edge devices, consider using the software FreeRTOS: an open-source, real-time operating system for microcontrollers. The software offers a remotely-controlled update library so you can update your devices with security patches. It also includes support for data encryption and key management. The code signing feature ensures the devices aren’t compromised during deployment.

FreeRTOS should also be used after Device Tester to determine whether your device will run it. It’ll test whether security libraries function correctly on your microcontrollers, able to test several at a time. 

Your edge devices can be covered too. AWS IoT Greengrass extends AWS to edge locations to act locally on the data they generate. It enables them to connect with other devices securely without an internet connection, all while able to use the cloud for analytics and durable storage. Even if your internet’s frustratingly on and off, Greengrass will still be collecting, processing, and exporting data streams just fine. Communication is secured because Greengrass encrypts and authenticates device data for both local and cloud communications.

AWS IoT Core connects devices securely to interact with cloud applications. You can connect as many devices as you want and your apps can keep track of all devices even if they aren’t connected. Data is encrypted throughout all points of communication and you can set granular permissions. You’ll be able to monitor your devices more closely and accurately with Core, since it’ll store the latest state of a device you can access even when it’s disconnected. 

If you find yourself often questioning your practices, IoT Device Defender will continuously monitor and audit your configurations to ensure you aren’t straying from best security practices. Device Defender ensures device identity, authenticates and authorizes devices, and encrypts device data. It’ll send an alert for any risky gaps in your security configuration and recommend further actions that reduce the impact of security issues.

Don’t forget the AWS IoT also operates under the Shared Responsibility Model, which means you are partially responsible for the security of your devices. For more details on IoT Security, check out AWS’s official Security Best Practices in AWS IoT Core.

If you work with the Internet of Things and are ready to migrate your data to AWS, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we can help you get started ASAP! Stay tuned for more detailed information and thoughts on IoT.