5 Tips for IoT Security Success in 2017

Posted 02/03/2017 by Ian Thompson
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The IoT is huge. We speak about it often and for good reason. The Internet of Things as predicted has swiftly grown to become the next industrial revolution. Nearly every new ‘thing’ brought to market for both enterprise and consumers is connected to the Internet. Driverless cars, smart-home appliances and fixtures and even children’s toys have evolved thanks to the IoT. Like all new technologies the Internet of Things has arrived with a set of security challenges to work through. According to Deloitte’s 2017 predictions over 10 million cyber attacks are expected to occur this year. At the same time Gartner predicts more than half of new business processes and systems will include an IoT component by 2020. The Internet of Things is growing quickly and many organizations are struggling to keep up with the demands these new technologies place on security.

Read below for 5 tips to ensure IoT security in 2017.

Create a culture of security within your organization.

Taking an over-zealous approach to security within your business may result in an alienated workforce. That said there are ways to inspire your employees not only to adhere to security policies and strategies but also to enjoy them. Try taking the doom and gloom out of security meetings and communication by using a light-hearted approach. Perhaps create a series of games surrounding security education and build security as a topic into every aspect of internal communications. Your business wins when every member of the team supports and understands your IoT security policies.

Place limits on the number of IoT devices available for use.

Without placing limits on approved and available IoT devices your security efforts can quickly spiral out of control. Every business must regulate the number of IoT connected devices used by employees and heavily protect them from within the organization to guarantee success. It is also helpful to develop a list of approved devices to ensure they have been verified and meets a minimum level of security. Jump over to https://www.owasp.org/index.php/IoT_Security_Guidance for more information.

Implement BYOD policies.

One of the easiest ways to protect your business from cyber threats is to implement a BYOD policy. Data breaches are frequently caused by the loss of company owned tools like cell phones, laptops, tablets and storage devices. To further complicate things employees frequently use personal devices for work related tasks. Every organization needs to adopt policies that place importance on the need for employees to keep track of devices as well as using approved encryption technology to keep information safe.

Prepare for the worst.

As the saying goes, the best-laid plans of mice and men can often go awry. Despite hard work and established security practices a breach can still occur. Your ability to weather the storm is dependent upon anticipating and preparing for the worst. Ready your business and employees for problems and be sure emergency measures are in place should you need to function temporarily without IoT connected devices.

Use unique and complex passwords for every device.

Many of us, myself included are guilty of using default passwords or not updating passwords with regular frequency. One of the easiest things you and your employees can do to minimize IoT security threats is to use unique and complex passwords for every device and change them frequently.

Too often security is an afterthought when an organization is implementing new technologies. Unfortunately when it comes to the Internet of Things a lack of security can produce serious consequences. By following a few basic guidelines your business will be on the path to secure IoT implementation. If you’d like to know more about the Internet of Things, IoT security and how ScanSource KBZ can help to set your organization up for success reach out or leave a comment below.

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- Ian Thompson

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