The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, showcases just how much a little bit of Internet connectivity can do to help make certain devices much more interesting and useful, but at the same time, it also has brought about a considerable security concern. How are you preventing these devices from ravaging your network security, and what can you do to stop it from putting your company at risk?
Why is the IoT Insecure?
A security survey issued by Forrester Research in 2022 reports that 33% of companies that were successfully breached were targeted—at least partially—through internal IoT devices. To put that in perspective, that’s one out of three businesses reporting a data breach as a result of a company-owned IoT device being compromised. Further research shows that these attacks are only the beginning and are increasing in numbers day to day. Considering that the IoT is also growing at an alarming rate, the following should not be surprising:
- Not only were many IoT devices designed without much consideration for their security—particularly while connected to the Internet—many also offer no means of upgrading the software and firmware to resolve this deficit.
- IoT devices are often kept to their default settings, including admin passwords and access credentials, either due to the inability to update these settings or a lack of awareness that it is possible to do so.
- In addition to these factors, many IoT tools can serve as a bridge to other areas of a network, giving attackers a way in from which they can move to other pieces of IT infrastructure.
Some companies are under the impression that they don’t have any IoT devices, therefore they are not a target, but this is simply false. There are plenty of devices out there and they are not limited to the more bizarre options, like connected baby monitors and doorbells.
That printer you use every day? If it connects to your network wirelessly, chances are it’s an IoT device. While they might be a different type of connected device, they are definitely considered a security risk by IT administrators and security professionals. Of course, there are other devices that must be considered, like the smart watches your team carry around on their wrists. Do the benefits offered by these devices outweigh the potential security risks associated with them?
How You Can Mitigate These Threats
Thankfully, there are ways you can keep your infrastructure safe from insecure IoT devices. One example is to work only with trusted brands and vendors who have proven time and again that they are dedicated to keeping your business safe. These vendors will hopefully be participating in vulnerability testing so as to keep their clients safe, so be sure to ask questions when you work with any hardware provider.
Additionally, you can take measures to protect your network yourself with advanced security tools and solutions. You can have your team use virtual private networks, utilize secure password best practices, and stick to using only trusted wireless networks. Furthermore, you should have a unified threat management tool implemented to protect your network on all fronts.
This might be a lot to manage, but you thankfully don’t have to do it all alone. Nexela is happy to assist your business with any of its security needs. Find out more by calling us today at (215) 525-3223.