Rural IoT (Internet of Things) devices are connected devices that collect and transmit data from farm equipment, crops, forestry, rivers, wilderness and livestock. They can provide valuable insights into the health and productivity of a farm, the biodiversity of an estate or tract of land by allowing managers to make more informed decisions about managing their land.
However, like all IoT devices, rural IoT devices can be vulnerable to security breaches. This is because they are often connected to the internet, making them potential targets for hackers who could exploit vulnerabilities in the device’s software or gain access to sensitive data.
To secure rural IoT devices, farmers and manufacturers can take several steps:
1. Strong passwords: Users should set strong, unique passwords for all devices and change them regularly. Passwords should not be easily guessable or shared with others.
2. Regular updates: Manufacturers should provide regular updates to address security vulnerabilities and fix bugs. Users should apply updates as soon as they become available.
3. Data encryption: Data transmitted between devices and servers should be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.
4. Network segmentation: Devices should be segmented onto separate networks to limit access to sensitive data and prevent hackers from moving laterally across the network.
5. Authentication and access control: Devices should authenticate users and restrict access to authorized users only.
6. Physical security: Physical security measures should be put in place to prevent unauthorized access to devices.
By implementing these measures, farmers and manufacturers can help ensure the security of agricultural IoT devices and the valuable data they collect.
The guides and processes on this site are inspired by government advice from across the globe, in particular ETSI, the EU iOT agency and NIST, the US Federal Agency for security. Information on iOT best practice is contained in the useful links below as well as the documentation section.
Another useful resource is from the IASME consortium, who currently manage the Cyber Essentials scheme for the UK Government. The IASME iOT Standard has useful information for setting up and securing iOT devices. The standard is based on an assessment against a question set – asking yourself these questions will be an excellent sense check that you have considered everything you need to to secure your iOT set up.
Once the data has been successfully obtained from your iOT devices it will probably be stored or transmitted, potentially over the internet. In this regard, the UK Governments National Cyber Security Centre has produced the Cyber Essentials Standard. This again utilises a question set which should uncover your security posture for IT services and inspire you to make changes and enhance this posture to maximise security.