IoT is everywhere today. From the moment ‘Alexa’ wakes us up in the morning to our morning commutes, consumers are adjusted to IoT more than they may know. Actually, there are about 7 billion internet-connected devices and that number is expected to grow to about 21.5 billion by 2025.
As the world continues to sprint head-first into taking all manner of devices and systems online, some serious security consequences have emerged. Each new connected device has the potential to expose very real vulnerabilities and even the slightest mis-configuration or poor security practices can be an entry point for cyber-attacks, security breaches and data theft. And since IoT is a network of connected devices, a single compromised device has the potential to take down an entire network!
Until the time comes when we can come to a standardization for all companies, there are steps IT teams can take today to address their security needs. Here’s what IT teams should know about managing IoT devices and minimizing vulnerabilities.
1. Every device is an attack vector for ransomware attacks: IoT may even be the preferred route of attack for ransomware moving forward. It’s essential for IT teams to recognize what devices are on their systems and make sure that only trusted, secure devices can be added.
2. You can’t manage what you don’t know: As the number and types of assets increase, so do the tools that we use to manage them. IT teams need to work with a solution that can manage it all. Instead of having several different endpoint solutions, it’s important to find one that fits all your needs.
3. Standard patch hygiene is essential: Many organizations suffer from attacks because of a lack of patching. The ability to update and maintain remote device software securely is one of the most important components of good device management.
4. Be sure to follow the Principle of Least Privilege: Provide administrative privileges only to the people who need it. Enforce the minimal level of user rights that allows a user to perform their role.
5. Take immediate action: We are not seeing enough organizations do this. Data breaches happen often. To ensure the safety of yourself and your business, always be sure to change your password once a data breach has been disclosed.
As the IoT industry continues to evolve, we’ll continue to see a greater push toward better levels of security. The network has become a clear focal point for enterprise security; to prevent intrusion and ensure that only proper devices have access, collaboration between security and network personnel will be key.
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