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Key IoT security trends for 2023

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By Sam Colley, CEO, Pod Group.

In the coming year, it is predicted that there will be more than 43 billion devices connected to the Internet. With the speed at which the Internet of Things (IoT) industry is growing, 2023 is sure to be a year of exciting developments in the enterprise IoT space.

Yet the flip side of growth is that cybersecurity threats not only remain persistent but likewise grow. These include weak digital links, like unsecure connections and legacy devices, which can be taken control of to spread malware or gain access to confidential data.

As we head into 2023, IoT cybersecurity will play a greater role than ever before, with enterprises making important decisions on how best to shore up security in the digitally connected present and future.

Those decisions are the trends that drive the industry towards meeting the heightened demands of an increasingly connected world and the smart solutions that power it.

Here are two key IoT security trends we see unfolding in 2023.

The rise of private networks in the form of ENOs

While private networks have always existed, they’ll start to come to maturity in 2023. Enabling secure and seamless roaming between private and public networks is vital since switching between the two is not intrinsically safe. In addition, new technologies are giving rise to solutions in this space. In particular, Enterprise Network Operators (ENOs) play an important role here.

Traditionally, enterprises have worked with either MNOs or MVNOs to power their mobile networks. However, neither of these have been ideal solutions to meet enterprise needs properly, given the drawbacks of siloed networks with complex roaming agreements — all of which lack centralised control and increase IoT security threats. As a result, enterprises need tailored network services now more than ever and in 2023, this need will be met by ENOs.

ENOs combine the best features of both MNOs and MVNOs to put owners of the network into the hands of the enterprise and provide completely tailored solutions, including more secure IoT connectivity. The coming year will see more of this technology taking root within business as enterprises seek to regain control over their data security and fortify their digital assets.

In fact, 92% of enterprises say they plan to use private networks by 2024, so expect 2023 to be the head start towards that future.

The rise of eSIM in B2B IoT

eSIMs are industry-standard digital SIMs that allow enterprises to activate a cellular plan without the need for a physical SIM. Just this year, Apple was one of the first consumer device makers to go mainstream with eSIMs, unveiling its iPhone 14 with the technology.

As opposed to physical SIM cards, eSIMs are soldered directly into the device, preventing them from being tampered with or removed to be used fraudulently. As a result, their use in the security of internet-connected devices is significant.

This is useful since it removes the requirement for an expensive genuine SIM tray installation and makes it harder to tamper with the device. In addition to form factor issues, new SIM-based solutions, such as IoT Safe or more complicated domestic counterparts, are broadening the spectrum of security protections available down to the SIM.

Following Apple’s lead, we can expect to see more companies turn to this technology, not only because of its security benefits but also due to the supply chain cost savings of not needing to add a SIM tray to each device.

Furthermore, unlike physical SIMs, eSIMs allow new profiles and agreements to be updated OTA, future-proofing each device’s connectivity and removing the need for a physical swap-out of the SIM. As a result, expect to see more enterprises move towards eSIM this coming year.

Bottom line: Security and IoT in 2023

In the coming year, we’ll increasingly see security considerations factored into the earliest stages of IoT product development, both of devices and of software in a process known as ‘Security by Design.’ With security taking the front seat, 2023 is poised to be a banner year for the IoT sector, delivering its most compelling — and most fortified — solutions yet.

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