IoT is at the verge of turning into a most significant disruptive technology, but the associated risks may be quite concerning.
The Internet of Things is an increasingly important technology for businesses to utilize, but it comes at the cost of cybersecurity. Fortunately, you can implement IoT solutions and protect your network. Here is how!
We've long dreamt of a linked world before the internet totally revolutionized how we do business and interact. Today, even our devices are more connected than ever, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is empowering our old "dumb" machines to communicate efficiently.
What exactly does that mean? Fundamentally, we are now able to transmit information about virtually anything right back to a central origin, where it could be researched and contextualized by artificial intelligence. Afterward, these smart algorithms can supply recommendations and profound insights into human decision makers.
The benefits from this notion are apparent. IoT offers humanity immense opportunity. IoT can inform us about electricity use, and where waste is coming from. It enables predictive analytics, enabling companies to respond before machines fail and disrupt productivity. Data seized by IoT devices can tell us how to best position our retail screens. It may even notify us about customer behaviors and lifestyle routines.
There's only one problem when it comes to IoT: it creates more cybersecurity vulnerabilities. And failure to implement IoT means your organization won't be as competitive in the not too distant future.
Why is IoT insecure?
Why are IoT devices really insecure? In short, they produce more points of potential attack for would-be hackers. With more opportunity to worm their way into a network, the odds that an attacker succeeds increase greatly. So, while the ever rising demand for contextualized data dictates a need for much more widespread IoT execution, companies risk the safety of their networks as they build these systems out.
Data breaches are poor enough as it is, but imagine a burglar on your system once you're capturing enormous troves of data enabled by IoT devices. Nowadays you've got a centralized database detailing granular sides of your entire business's operations. Whether the attacker is still a rival or just wants to deploy ransomware on your own system, that spells big trouble for your own organization.
But dismissing IoT improvements is a short-term option that will eventually see your organization fall behind. Instead of delaying implementation for fear of attack, you've got to address the security concerns head-on.
Rest assured, there is plenty that you can do to help protect your network when implementing IoT solutions. Best of all, many steps you need to take to secure IoT apparatus are the same security measures you should already be employing in your network (hint: if you're not, you might want to start after reading this article.)
1. Be selective when associating.
You do not have to connect every single device just as it can be linked. Consider what devices you really must draw information from, and what insights you are very likely to get from connecting them. Can this information help enhance your company's profitability? If so, then it's probably worth connecting, otherwise, it is an unnecessary apparatus that would only make a new attack vector when connected. Keep it off your network.
2. Always use strong passwords
This is a universal rule that should always be followed, whether you're using IoT devices in your system or not. Your passwords should be strong, randomly generated strings of characters, letters, and numbers, and you should not be reusing them for different accounts or apparatus. The same goes for IoT apparatus.
Many of these devices include factory set passwords which are relatively easy to figure out for the smart hacker. Ensure you change them to something safe. If you find it too hard to try to remember these protected passwords (note: it should be difficult,) you can look into password vaults which will help save, store, and even update your passwords.
3. Disable play functionality and universal plug
These attributes make it effortless for devices to recognize one another, that is useful for quick configuration, but also for hackers to identify and target your own network. By disabling universal plug and play, yes you will need to configure your devices to your network manually, but you will also get the reassurance it will be more difficult for people with ill intentions to target your own network too.
4. Always observe everything.
Last, you should be constantly visiting and revisiting apparatus to make sure they've been compromised. If you don't have the technical capability to do so, consider bringing someone on board that does. Outsourcing this service can also be feasible and, believe me, it is well worth the expense. If your network is compromised, you are going to wish you had not saved the money up front, since it's extremely costly to recoup from a cyber assault.
Don't be afraid of executing IoT. It's a wonderful instrument that can help you conduct business in a brighter, more efficient way.