Tag Archives: PubNub IoT

The 10 challenges of securing IoT communications

From the very beginning of developing an IoT product, IoT security must be a forethought.

One of the hottest topics at last week’s IoT StreamConf was security. In other words, how are we going to secure communication for billions of connected devices? How can we ensure that attackers can’t take control of our devices, steal information, disrupt services, or take down entire networks of expensive, imperative devices?

With IoT is still in its early stages, security is not fully understood and well-defined when compared to other industries, like the financial and e-commerce sectors. From the very beginning of developing an IoT product, whether it’s small-scale like a wearable device, to massive-scale IoT deployments, like an oil field sensor network or global delivery operation, IoT security must be a forethought.


In this talk, Rohini Pandhi, Product Manager at PubNub, walks through the ten challenges of securing Internet of Things communication. Rohini discusses flexible and secure messaging design patterns for IoT communication, and how they can be implemented and scaled. There are a number of security considerations, but after watching this talk, you should have a good idea of how you can secure your IoT deployment.

(Scroll below video for a table of contents of when individual concepts are talked about in the video).

Video Table of Contents

  1. Defining the Internet of Things (10:27)
  2. Unprotected devices will be attacked (13:15)
  3. Encryption (15:46)
  4. Single security model for all communications (17:56)
  5. Access control (20:13)
  6. Tracking device metadata (21:14)
  7. Provisioning in the field (22:38)
  8. Firmware updates in the field (24:07)
  9. Compliance with regulations (25:15)
  10. Reinventing the wheel (26:17)

More Resources on Securing IoT Communication

Below are a couple great pieces on IoT security, and some code tutorials for IoT developers:

PubNub launches full SDK support for Atmel IoT products

Our friends at PubNub recently joined forces with us at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for our entire lineup of MCU, MPU, and wireless SoC platforms.

As the team reveals, Atmel developers will now have access to PubNub’s secure publish/subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy servers, and on unreliable mobile networks with a security model that guarantees no open ports on IoT devices. Developers can implement important features like remote device control, firmware upgrades, and device provisioning using PubNub’s suite of IoT building blocks that includes realtime device presence detection, stream storage & playback, and data stream syndication.


“PubNub’s realtime global data stream network combined with our embedded solutions helps IoT developers reduce time-to-market and solve the challenges of reliable IoT deployments,” explained Reza Kazerounian, Atmel SVP and GM of Microcontroller Business Unit. “By removing complexity and focusing on developer-centric tools and services, PubNub shares Atmel’s philosophy of driving competitive advantage for our customers.”

As previously shared on Bits & Piecesthe Connected Home demo features an Arduino board that connects with the PubNub network, enabling it to send and receive realtime signals securely from external devices such as a mobile phone. With PubNub’s low-latency global network, developers can remotely control Atmel based embedded systems reliably and securely from anywhere in the world.


“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, PubNub Founder and CEO.

Interested in learning more? You can read all about the smart home model here. Also, we had the chance to catch up with Evangelist Ian Jennings back at CES to discuss the IoT, SDK support and ongoing projects in more detail. Watch the interview below!