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IoT and Security: 5 Handy Tips To Your Rescue

By Special Guest
Prince Kapoor, Marketing Analyst Lead at LoginRadius
April 03, 2017

Adopting the Internet of Things (IoT) is good, and adopting IoT with security is even better. With predictions for around 20.8 billion devices connected with each other by 2020, make sure you don’t ignore security by following these five tips.

Ten years ago, had anyone told me that just by stealing my phone, he could steal my email passwords and other personal data, I would have laughed. Well, not anymore. Today, if someone told me that they can use my oven to get into my Facebook account, I would panic.

This is the era of IoT. Although not a very new concept, IoT is definitely not something you should ignore. With IoT comes the ability to connect, communicate and manage any number of devices over the Internet. This transition from closed networks to public networks is gigantic and causing concerns about security. As we move further with IoT, it has become essential for businesses and customers to think about how they can protect sensitive data.

But there is no harmony on how the best security measurements can be taken to safeguard IoT devices, networks and systems. Everybody thinks that with technology innovations, one requires a revolutionary solution to tailor IoT security and will bring the next generation devices. This is not true. There is no cure-all solution that can completely eliminate cyber threat risks.

Although we don’t have any silver bullet, we do have some tried and tested security measures that have matured over time and can be solutions for IoT security. This article is going to cover some effective strategies for organizations to meet the challenges in IoT adoption and customer data security.

1. Backup this, backup that. Backup everything.
With advancements in technology comes higher risk of cyber threats. Backups are not just for protecting your data but it is also about restoring information in case you reboot the system. Investing in a backup is a must. If you have a robust backup solution, your data will always be handy through protecting it on servers and providing the means to ensure smooth data restore process whenever needed. Moreover, these solutions also provide you 24/7 access by backing up data no matter where it resides. Backing up makes sure your river of data keeps flowing and devices stay connected.

2. Encrypt sensitive data.
The era of IoT has given us smart and always-connected devices and it is impossible to find out how trustworthy every single device passing through firewalled networks. The solution here is to encrypt all the data. One must assume that an internal network is also as vulnerable to security threats as the public network. Ideally the data should be useless if it is compromised. Encryption makes sure that only authorized people are able to use the data. Google’s BeyondCorp initiative is the great step in this direction.

3. Move to cloud and control access.
Shifting to the cloud is one of the trends everybody is adopting. And while this cloud adoption trend is gaining wide acceptance, businesses must keep in mind the added risk. Storing data on the cloud means providing access to others and that is why it is wise to use strict access permissions. Role-based access controls ensure that the users are able to access only those resources for which they have got permission.

4. Strict password policies and use of multifactor authentication.
Many data breaches come from users who have weak passwords. IT professionals have found many bugs in IoT devices and these bugs easily provide access to hackers. Passwords should be complex and unique; one device, one password is the best approach. Additionally, introducing multifactor authentication is a great option since passwords are no longer enough. Passwords can be guessed or hacked, while multifactor authentication adds extra layers of verification.

5. Use firewall and IPS.
Every business needs to add a firewall between external and internal networks. This helps reduce attacks by monitoring and preventing unauthorized traffic and detecting malicious payloads in non-IT protocols. I am not saying that IoT devices need to be concerned about high level filtering of common web traffic, but you definitely need to filter the specific data which is intended to terminate on that device in optimal way.

Finally
The risk of security breaches is directly proportional to the growth of IoT. Plan in advance. Allocate budget to security measures, create awareness and even consult an expert if needed. After all, security is above everything.

About the Author: Prince Kapoor is Marketing Analyst Lead at LoginRadius, A CIAM Provider. While not working, you can find him in gym or giving random health advice to his colleagues upon which no one agrees. If you also want some of his advice (on health or on marketing), reach him out at Twitter.

 




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