5 Key Security Controls for IoT Devices

27 May

Cybersecurity should be at the forefront of every business owner’s mind. How often do you think about the devices connecting to your network and consider that they might put your systems and data at risk? How do you even begin to keep networks safe, especially as it seems that every device nowadays appears to be an IoT device? When last did you think about the security impact of using the Internet of Things (IoT) devices?

And consider this. Any hardware device that is embedded with sensors, software, and technology, that allows it to connect to other systems and devices over the internet and exchange data is a hackable IoT device.

protecting your networks, devices, and data is your responsibility

With a global shift toward remote working, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important. While you can limit and control the use of devices and online behaviour at your work premises, it’s a little more complicated if your staff members are on the go or working from home.

Don’t wait for something to go wrong before you make cybersecurity a responsibility.

When smart devices connect to networks and cause disruption, it’s already too late.  As a business owner, you may not know where to start but there are several ways that you can protect IoT devices, the systems they connect to, and sensitive data.

how to best protect IoT devices & connected networks

Protect your business from cyberattacks by keeping staff up to date on cybersecurity measures and updates IoT devices and networks in the following simple ways:

  • Change the default password

Devices and routers come with default passwords – if you have never changed that password, your network and devices are at serious risk. IP addresses and default passwords are readily available on the internet. There’s no time like the present to change that password!

  • Regularly accept and install updates

Often, software companies and network system manufacturers release updates (also known as patches) that aim to improve the security features of their existing products. Ensure that you regularly install the updates/patches available to ensure that you always have the latest security components. Every time you skip or delay an update, which we all have a tendency to do, you are putting your system security at risk.

  • Set up limitations to avoid flat networks

Flat networks are networks that don’t have any segments or separations imposed. Instead, all devices have access to the same data and system controls. Of course, if an infected or risky device connects to the network, they have access to everything – which puts data at risk. It’s important to set up your network so that IoT devices don’t have access to data and that each staff member is limited in terms of what his/her devices can access on the network.

  • Carry out periodic network inventory

You or your IT manager should regularly do an inventory check of the devices connected to the network. Ensure that they are authorised devices and that you know what they are doing on the network. Often, businesses overlook possible threats because they assume all connected devices are meant to be there. Months can pass while a device gathers information without anyone even noticing it. If you cannot confirm the authorisation of a device on a network, it shouldn’t be there.

  • Set Bluetooth devices to “non-discoverable” mode

Bluetooth devices are notorious for cybersecurity weaknesses. Hackers target Bluetooth connections because of this. You should set all Bluetooth devices connecting to the system to “non-discoverable” mode for increased security.

last word

While there is no “one size fits all” cure for cybersecurity threats, there are always things you can do to protect the integrity of your networks and keep your IoT devices and data safe. If you’ve had a security risk with an IoT device before, you know just how much damage it can do to your business. Don’t be caught out without the right measures in place – get your online backup package sorted today.

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