The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the growing number of intelligent objects that are being connected to the internet and each other. These systems are infiltrating the heart of our critical infrastructure and are forming the basis of current & future smart services. PCs, tablets, smart phones, wearable technology and intelligent home devices are now being adopted at record rate and form part of our everyday lives, even starting to appear on enterprise networks. The lines between whether you are at work or home are also becoming blurred as more and more people become mobile workers in the knowledge economy with more devices that one may not initially have thought of as being smart devices entering the business networks. This poses a more complex security risk and may have serious consequences. Companies are not always necessarily aware of all devices on their networks. And if you are not aware of something, how do you protect yourself against any possible dangers? Here are 4 useful ways to protect your company’s Internet of things.
- Know which devices are connected to your network
Note your business’ connected devices — including anything with a microphone or camera — and verify what information each device has access to. You cannot secure your devices if you’re not aware of their vulnerabilities. Insecure connections can make your device vulnerable to hacking, so ensure that you only maintain the use of wi-fi if it is password protected. Not to be ignored, the security of your smart phone is just as important.
- Regular password updates
Make sure that you use strong passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. It’s important not to use the same password for multiple accounts – otherwise, should a hacker manage to get in, they’ll have wider access to other devices.
- Create a separate network for your devices
Many routers allow you to set up multiple networks. Consult your router’s manual to create at least one separate network for your IoT devices. The more you segment your networks, the harder it is for hackers to access all of your devices and information.
- Install a firewall
A firewall helps prevent hackers, viruses, and worms from reaching your connected devices over the internet by denying unauthorized traffic. Some computer systems offer a default firewall, which is sufficient for many users. For an added layer of protection, install a firewall that offers more security functions that meet your needs, or configure a hardware firewall to offer wider network defense.
In addition to these tips, turning off any smart devices when you aren’t using them, particularly those with microphones and video cameras, will help with your online security. While some connected devices, such as smart thermostats, require a constant internet connection, other devices — including smart TVs, coffee makers, and video cameras — do not. Prevent a hacker from connecting to your video or audio streams by disconnecting whenever you can.