Level Up the Security of Your Private IoT Network with VPN!

Latest News Jun 19, 2020

As IoT devices become more available and common in many infrastructures, issues with its security can come about. IoT devices are mainly connected to the internet so, this ease of accessibility can make people forget the intricacies behind the technology: the importance of your data and the vulnerability of the internet. People only see the worldliness of services IoT provides such as automatically turning lights on, lowering the power of air conditioning units, and tweaking thermostats. As a result, people simply disregard the confidential data that flows through this hackable internet connection.

Data that comes from your environment is private and should remain as your property. Information regarding your health, habits, location, conversation, and personal preferences are all stored in your private IoT network. If it’s your company instead which uses a private IoT network, then data on numerical reports, business decisions, and organizational charts are kept. At any moment, should anyone try to intercept the internet connection from which your IoT network is connected, your confidential data may become publicized and at worst, be used against you.

So apart from a highly secured IoT platform through which you control your IoT devices, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like the OpenVPN can be utilized to prevent attacks that seek to alter or collect your IoT data. While ensuring that only authorized IoT devices can become part of your private network, this VPN employs public networks to provide you private network connectivity away from threats. OpenVPN works with most IoT devices including RAK LoRaWAN® gateways. Listed below are its main features that you will truly enjoy:

Allows Easy Authentication

By using HMAC packet authentication and strong encryption standards, you will experience a hassle-free entrance to the server. OpenVPN also protects your data with other features such as its pre-shared keys, and peer authentication. It runs in your userspace without needing root privileges.

Works on open source software

The OpenVPN is based on an open source software that allows you to secure any private IoT network for whatever platform available now. The server will not restrict you to develop a user interface using its management interface.

Has a server and client mode

You can configure your OpenVPN to run as a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Datagram Protocol) service that can act as a server or client. If you use your VPN as a server, OpenVPN will wait until you, the client, will request a connection. However, if you do choose your network to be the server, the VPN already establishes the connection. With this feature, OpenVPN can give you more control in configuring servers. You can even shut down a server on the internet that are not within your virtual private network.

Should you be interested in finally using VPN, you may refer to this tutorial to set it up with your RAK LoRaWAN gateways.

Behind all the mechanisms that IoT enables is the data that we feed it. Data from our routine use of our devices, locations of where we work, and many other private activities are saved in our private IoT networks. If our internet connection, from which IoT frequently runs, becomes vulnerable to threats such as botnets and snooping, our greatly kept data will be given away without us knowing. Fortunately, VPNs such as OpenVPN are available for us to install. With its strong authentication, easy accessibility, and high flexibility, chances of our IoT private networks being hacked are set to decrease. However, its lauded features will be of no use if we don’t become careful with our data. Despite the simplicity of IoT, you should never disregard the intricacies that work to keep your private network running.

Sam Domingo

Sam is the technical and marketing content writer for RAKwireless. Her passion for writing that manifested in her playwriting and poetry now flows into her in-depth coverage of the IoT community.

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