Smart Spaces

Microsoft – IoT security in the cloud

Author: Helge Schroda, Business Lead Cybersecurity, Microsoft
Issue 02-2022: read all articles online read as pdf

For many companies, saving data in the public cloud is a step that is often coupled with security concerns, especially when it comes to business-critical data from development or production. Many companies choose to operate a private cloud instead. The expectation is that internal hosting will pay off in terms of data security, despite the considerable additional expense. As a provider of security solutions, Microsoft has a holistic view. Whether in a company’s own data center, with data center operators, or in the public cloud such as in Azure, the goal is to achieve the right level of alerting and an effective response to detected incidents.

Zero Trust security concept

Zero Trust is what Microsoft calls the approach that is seen throughout the industry as the framework for cutting-edge security. Despite the above-mentioned concerns, infrastructures are increasingly shifting to the cloud. Applications that used to be run in in-house data centers now frequently come directly from a provider to the user as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application via the browser or as an app. If the logins to these applications, the data, the workflows, and the authorization requirements shift to the cloud, then the security requirements must adapt to these changes as well. In addition, many formerly “atypical” devices, such as IoT sensors, require a connection to the cloud.

Security in IoT projects

For IoT projects such as desk-sharing models and the associated digitization of buildings, it is ultimately of secondary importance where the data is processed and stored. What is important is that the entire process is secure, starting with the sensors and the transfer of sensor data via a gateway or Wi-Fi access point to the cloud, and ending with data analysis in apps. Security starts with the encryption of the sensor data. For its wireless sensors, for example, EnOcean relies on data security by means of rolling code and AES-128 encryption.

The weakest link in the chain determines the level of security. Most recently, effective attacks have often come from supply chains, via production facilities (operational technology), and from the Internet of Things (IoT). Microsoft is addressing this aspect with Defender for IoT, which integrates seamlessly into the cybersecurity platform. Ultimately, the signals from administrative IT, from the various data centers, and from IoT and OT are brought together on the Microsoft cybersecurity platform to provide a holistic view of the security of all systems for our customers and partners.

Comprehensive threat analysis

Using large cloud-based systems, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, various Microsoft teams analyze data volumes that add up to nearly 25 trillion signals per day. This serves as the basis for analyses through which cybersecurity incidents are detected and processed across the board. The volume of signals is growing exponentially, especially due to the multitude of IoT devices and other devices connecting to cloud systems.

Although Microsoft’s products are designed to work with each other in a highly integrated way, the expectation is that this integration exists not only with all Microsoft products, but also with the products of other manufacturers. The basis of the findings lies in countless logs. The task is to capture them correctly, superimpose them, and draw the right conclusions from the analysis. This is the only way to detect, classify, and attribute attackers and ultimately combat them effectively.

Due to their security features and capabilities, state-of-the-art cloud infrastructures have become a safe haven for data and a secure foundation for the delivery of complex applications and workflows. The monitoring, detection, and handling of security incidents are faster and more precise than ever before. As a result, there are no security concerns standing in the way of IoT projects such as the digitization of spaces and buildings.

About Perpetuum

Perpetuum is EnOcean's customer magazine focusing on solutions and products for energy harvesting technology. The technology delivers the data for the Internet of Things in a resource-saving, self-powered and maintenance-free way. In doing so, it enables the smart use of buildings, cities and industrial plants. In the categories Internet of Things, Smart Building, Smart Lighting and Smart Home the EnOcean's partners in particular have their say highlighting their expertise.

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