Microsoft Aims to fill the IoT Security Gap

Friday’s big cyber-attack that knocked out sites like Amazon, Netflix, GitHub, and Spotify has prompted many companies to go on the offensive–Microsoft being one of them.

As the investigation furthers, the hackers haven’t been found out yet, but the software they used to complete their mission was a Mirai like program.  The hackers used it to storm every unsecured IoT device they could come across, including security cameras and computers to complete their assault.

The attack couldn’t have come at a worse time for the IoT, as its rapid growth ascends to new heights. It is estimated that the IoT will see around 24 billion connected devices by 2020. An announcement from the IoT World Congress in Barcelona by Microsoft said that they are working on trying to fill the gap with a new security auditing program for IoT customers.

Our customers have seen what happens when IoT security fails.  Now we want to help customers make sure they do it right. In general, we see a tremendous number of customers wanting to do the right thing,” Microsoft Azure IoT Director Same George said.

The big question for Microsoft has been “How can I know if the custom parts of my solution have been done correctly?” Well, IT departments have dialed in, proven methods for keeping computers and smartphones current with the latest security patches. IoT users don’t have this luxury. IoT devices range from security cameras to jet engines. It’s hard to pin-point solutions because there can be many different solutions involved in fixing the security issues in such IoT devices.

The security program Azure is highly important due to these facts. It will give outside security firms the tools to scan and verify customers IoT devices to ensure their security. It also keeps user devices up-to-date with the latest security patches.

“Device management is one of those overlooked aspects of Iot. You can’t really depend on something without a plan to update it,” George said.

The goal for Azure is to get a real look into how secure these devices really are to help them side step any cyber-attacks by taking the appropriate security measures ahead of time.

Microsoft is also helping large and small businesses embrace the IoT. They plan on making it simpler for businesses to identify which IoT devices would be good for their needs, what they do, and how they can communicate with other devices.  They have also worked with Intel to create what they call a Commercial Gateway Kit that helps business owners start working with smart devices, new and old, to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

It’s really a business revolution that’s being led by technology,” George stated lastly.

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