Connected devices and the internet of things (IoT) are becoming more and more commonplace in homes and businesses. From smart thermostats to security cameras to refrigerators that can order groceries, there is an ever-growing number of devices connected to the internet that can be controlled or monitored remotely. While the convenience and potential cost savings of these devices are undeniable, the security risks posed by the IoT are also genuine.
Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in IoT devices to gain access to networks and data or even to take control of devices themselves. In December 2016, for example, a significant distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack was launched against Dyn, a company that provides domain name service (DNS) for many websites. The attack was established through many hijacked IoT devices, including webcams and DVRs.
Organizations that want to take advantage of the benefits of the IoT must take steps to secure their devices against these and other potential threats.
Here are some tips for doing so.
Take Note of Network Endpoints
You can’t protect what you can’t see, which is especially true for the IoT. You need to be aware of all the connected devices to your network and what ports they use. Many IoT devices use default passwords or easily guessable credentials, so make sure to change these as soon as you get a new appliance.
In addition, you should segment your network so that IoT devices are isolated from critical systems. This will limit the damage done if a malicious actor gains access to one of your devices. Spending on IoT endpoint security products can help to automate this process.
Align Multiple Technologies Together
The best way to secure the IoT is to take a holistic approach that combines multiple security technologies. This might include firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and web filtering. Antivirus software is also a must for encryption for any data stored on devices or transmitted over the network.
In addition, consider using a web application firewall (WAF) to protect against attacks that exploit known vulnerabilities in web-based applications. A WAF can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid solution. To successfully achieve their goals with their IoT initiatives, firms need to understand the enterprise security requirements and ensure they have the right mix of technology, processes, and people in place.
There are several ways to secure IoT devices, but the most important thing is to take action. The IoT is not going away, and its risks will only increase. So, ensure to rope in a mobile device management firm for the job.
Update Devices and Software
One of the main ways hackers gain access to devices is by taking advantage of known vulnerabilities that have not been patched. Manufacturers are often slow in releasing updates, so it is up to organizations to make sure that devices are kept up-to-date. This can be a daunting task, but several tools can help, such as patch management software and asset management platforms.
Another critical step is to ensure that all software on devices is up-to-date. This includes the firmware of devices and the software used to manage them. Many IoT devices use outdated operating systems, such as Windows XP, which Microsoft no longer supports.
Know Every Third-Party Hardware and Software Vendor
When it comes to the IoT, you need to know every third-party vendor accessing your data and devices. This includes the manufacturers of devices and the developers of any software used on those devices. Make sure to vet these vendors carefully and only work with those with a good reputation for security.
It is also essential to keep track of what data these vendors have access to. Many IoT devices collect data about users and their activities, which can be valuable to hackers. Ensure that you understand what data is being collected and how it is being used.
Conduct Vulnerability Tests
It is essential to test the security of your devices and networks regularly. This can be done with the help of security professionals or with automated tools. Hackers are always looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit, so it is essential to stay ahead of them.
The IoT is a game-changer for businesses and consumers alike, but it also has its share of risks. By following these tips, you can help to secure your devices and protect your data.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized how we live and work. The IoT has created a new market for technology and enterprise everywhere, but it’s also left many people uneasy. IoT devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks and other malicious activity, and hackers have been quick to exploit these weaknesses.