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Internet of Things Security Risks & How to Manage Them

May 26, 2017

Using Internet of Things (IoT) devices at your small- or medium-sized business has a long list of benefits, from increased productivity to improved customer and employee safety. However, with these perks come some potential threats to the security of your company and its data. You see, IoT devices, which range from coffeemakers to printers to thermostats, can be accessed and controlled via the Internet. Furthermore, they provide new and often unexpected opportunities for cybercriminals to hack into your business's network.

What's worse, these devices are rarely equipped with sophisticated security features and most cannot be updated, making them an even more tempting target for hackers. While some manufacturers are working to make security a bigger priority when creating IoT devices, it has yet to happen across the board. Until it does, our New Castle County IT security company recommends following these steps to keep your organization's data safe and secure if you've implemented the Internet of Things:

  1. Take an inventory of your Internet-connected devices – The first step in protecting your network from being commandeered by cybercriminals is to take stock of which of your devices are accessible via the Internet. To find out if a device communicates over your network, you may need to do a bit of research. Above all, remember that even if you wouldn't expect a device to be Internet-equipped, it still might be! Hackers purposely target less obvious IoT devices such as break room refrigerators because they are most likely to be skipped in the company's security plan. To avoid security gaps, be sure not to overlook any device.

  2. Identify the types of data associated with these devices – Once you have a grasp on the devices you need to be concerned about, your next task is to determine what kinds of data are being sent to and/or from these devices. To do so, you can use a strategy such as penetration testing or hire an IT security company in New Castle County to assist you. Ultimately, having information about the data associated with your IoT devices will allow your business to evaluate the amount of security protection needed for each one.

  3. Keep a close eye on data traffic to/from IoT devices – After figuring out which types of data are used by each IoT device, your business should be sure to monitor the data traffic between these devices and the rest of the network. Doing so will make it possible to catch data exchanges that may indicate that an unauthorized individual is trying to compromise your network.

  4. Specify rules for use of IoT devices in your company's guidelines – To further promote network security, you'll want to add detailed rules for utilizing IoT devices to your company's guidelines and notify employees of this addition. Your guidelines might include things such as restrictions on the use of certain IoT devices or data exchanges.

Call On Alura for Assistance with IoT Device Security

Don't have the time or means to secure your business' IoT devices on your own? Alura Business Solutions, the IT security company New Castle County organizations have trusted since 2005, will be glad to lend a helping hand. With years of experience and advanced technologies at our disposal, we can assist you with every aspect of safeguarding your company's IoT devices and network.

To learn more about how we can help, give us a call today at 844-558-7200. And if you're interested in reading more useful cybersecurity tips, check out our post on spotting and dismantling social engineering scams. We can't wait to serve your business!

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