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AntoinetteHodes
Employee
Employee

Telemetry data, the new oil | the importance of securing IoT

By Miri Ofir, Research and Development Director at Check Point Software and Antoinette Hodes is a Global Solutions Architect and an Evangelist with the Check Point Office of the CTO.

Introduction

In today’s interconnected world, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become ubiquitous, enabling the efficient exchange of data between various devices and systems. IoT devices generate a lot of valuable data, including telemetry data. What is telemetry data? Telemetry data refers to the information collected and transmitted by devices, including sensors, actuators and other connected (IoT or OT) devices. It encompasses a wide range of data, such as information about resources: disk space, CPU, memory, and data from open ports and active connections. Furthermore, environmental metrics like temperature, pressure, humidity, location and speed are collected by sensors and being sent as telemetry. Lastly, system and security events, anomalies and alerts are also telemetry. Telemetry data provides real-time insights into the status, behavior, and performance of devices and the systems that they are connected to.

In the age of Industry 4.0, collecting telemetry data has become increasingly important. This data is vital for the efficient functioning of modern industries and offers several benefits. Firstly, collecting telemetry data allows businesses to gain valuable insights into their operations and processes. By analyzing this data and pursuing in-depth monitoring, companies can identify areas for improvement, optimize resource allocation, and enhance overall productivity. Secondly, telemetry data enables predictive maintenance, where potential issues or faults in machinery can be detected in advance. This proactive approach helps prevent costly breakdowns, reduces downtime and increases equipment lifespan. Additionally, telemetry data plays a crucial role in ensuring product quality and safety. By constantly monitoring data from sensors, manufacturers can monitor and control the production process, ensuring adherence to quality standards and minimizing defects. Finally, telemetry data facilitates real-time decision-making. By obtaining up-to-date and accurate information, managers can make informed choices, react swiftly to changing conditions, and improve operational efficiency.

Securing telemetry data | The key to protecting sensitive data

Depending on the context and the specific information it contains, telemetry data can be considered sensitive. In some cases, telemetry data may not be inherently sensitive, especially if it only contains general operational information without any personally identifiable information (PII) or sensitive details. For example, telemetry data that simply indicates the temperature or power consumption of a device may not be classified as sensitive. However, certain types of telemetry data can indeed be sensitive. For instance, if telemetry data includes PII, such as user identities, email addresses, or other personal information, it would be considered sensitive data. Additionally, telemetry data that reveals intimate details about an individual’s behavior, preferences or health could also be deemed sensitive.

Importance of securing telemetry data | The safe future of IoT

1. Data privacy and confidentiality: IoT metrics and telemetry data often contain sensitive information about individuals, organizations, or critical infrastructure systems. Unauthorized access or manipulation of this data can lead to privacy breaches, industrial espionage, or even physical harm. Securing IoT metrics and telemetry data ensures the confidentiality and integrity of the information.

2. Protection against cyber threats: For cyber criminals, IoT devices are attractive targets due to their potential vulnerabilities. Compromised devices can be used as gateways to gain unauthorized access to networks or through which to launch large-scale attacks. Securing telemetry data helps mitigate these risks. Implement robust encryption, authentication, and access control measures.

3. Maintaining trust and reputation: Organizations deploying IoT devices must prioritize the security of metrics and telemetry data to maintain the trust of their customers and stakeholders. Instances of data breaches can lead to severe reputational damage and financial losses. Protecting the integrity and confidentiality of telemetry data helps build trust and credibility in IoT deployments.

Industry 4.0 use cases

In terms of Industry 4.0, several key applications have emerged to streamline operations and maximize efficiency. These use cases include:

  • Predictive maintenance: By extending the lifespan of assets, organizations can minimize downtime and optimize resource allocation.
  • Proactive remediation: Taking swift action to address potential issues helps minimize damage and ensures uninterrupted operations.
  • Anomaly and threat detection: By identifying anomalies and threats early on, companies can reduce the impact and mitigate the risks associated with security breaches.
  • Quality control: Automating the inspection process reduces the need for human intervention, resulting in improved accuracy and efficiency.
  • Enhanced cyber security: Analyzing network traffic and promptly identifying and responding to threats helps ensure a secure environment.
  • Improved resource optimization: Utilizing vehicle tracking, optimizing route planning, and reducing fuel consumption can enhance delivery efficiency in the transportation sector.
  • Supply chain management: Efficient inventory management, real-time tracking of goods, and fast response times enable streamlined operations and customer satisfaction.
  • Production planning: Optimizing production processes ensures efficient resource utilization and timely delivery of products. This results in improved customer loyalty, satisfaction and brand loyalty.

The roadmap to compliance | Telemetry data and industry regulations

There are specific regulations that pertain to telemetry data in certain industries or regions. Here are a few examples:

1. Healthcare: In the healthcare industry, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe impose specific requirements for the collection, storage, and transmission of telemetry data related to patient health information. These regulations aim to protect the privacy and security of sensitive healthcare data.

2. Automotive: Telemetry data collected from vehicles, such as GPS location, speed and vehicle diagnostics, may be subject to regulations in the automotive industry. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have specific provisions related to the collection and use of personal data from vehicles.

3. Aviation: The aviation industry has regulations governing the collection and transmission of telemetry data from aircraft. For instance, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) sets standards for flight data monitoring and analyses, including the collection and handling of telemetry data for safety and operational purposes.

4. Telecommunications: Telecommunications companies may be subject to regulations related to telemetry data, particularly in terms of data protection and privacy. These regulations can vary by country or region, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union or the Telecommunications Act in the United States.

As IoT continues to expand, securing sensitive data, metrics and telemetry data become increasingly critical. Protecting IoT data ensures privacy, mitigates cyber risks and maintains trust in IoT deployments. Predefined metrics offer consistency and efficiency. By embracing these concepts, organizations can enhance the security and reliability of their IoT systems, enabling them to fully leverage the benefits of telemetry data while minimizing potential risk.

In conclusion, collecting telemetry data is essential in the age of Industry 4.0, as it enables businesses to optimize processes, enhance productivity, ensure product quality, and make data-driven decisions. And securing telemetry data is even more imperative.

3 Replies
the_rock
Legend
Legend

Glad you are back with another great post. I got worried you got sick of my comments 🤣

Best,

Andy

AntoinetteHodes
Employee
Employee

Thanks Andy! How could I, I really love your comments.

(1)
the_rock
Legend
Legend

Ok, ok, enough lies for the leap year haha. Just kidding, thank you, its always nice to read these posts, I find them super INFORMATIVE!

Best,

Andy

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