Protecting Your Internet Of Things (IoT) And Connected Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next major security threat to modern society. Most people unknowingly interact with the IoT without realizing how big the risk is to their personal online data and their business data. 

Businesses, especially those with employees who work from home, need to protect their data and company security from vulnerabilities caused by IoT devices. Read on to learn the security risks of IoT and how to protect IoT and connected devices.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the connected network of appliances and products on an interconnected network. Technically, IoT refers to networks of physical objects (things) that have the technologies capable of exchanging data. If an object or item has a sensor, software, or technology that can connect or exchange data with another device or system over the internet, then they are part of the IoT.

In simple terms, IoT refers to interrelated computing devices, digital machines, mechanical machines, animals, people, and objects with unique identifiers (UIDs) that can transfer data over a network without human-to-computer or human-to-human interaction. Think smart home devices and smart TV systems. 

These Internet of Things can range from mobile devices and iPads to WiFi-connected washing machines, medical devices, security cameras, and any smart device. In essence, your Internet of Things (IoT) refers to things or devices that aren’t typically thought of when you think of an at-home network or company network. These devices are new additions to the world of connected devices and can present security challenges. 

Security Risks Inherent With IoT Devices

Security measures are essential in IoT just like in regular computer networks. In fact, some argue that security for IoT is even more important to a company’s IT critical infrastructure because IoT devices are less secure, cheaper to make, and more vulnerable to a cyber attack. Security of IoT should involve software, passwords, and secure storage to protect, identify, and monitor security threats and fix vulnerabilities present on these devices. 

Obviously, newer technologies, cheaper-made technologies, and inaccessible technologies make cyber attacks more prevalent. This is because security is usually lax, and fixing the threat is harder. Common security challenges in IoT devices include insecure communications, malware attack threats, cyberattacks, security breaches for sensitive data like personal information, network issues, and data leaks. Other emerging issues with IoT can also make security challenging, and this includes the increasing complexity of the environment, more remote work arrangements, and the introduction of 5G connectivity.

When it comes to business data, businesses need to do all they can to secure their business data and any connected devices. Therefore, if you have employees who work from home or remotely then you’ll want to consider IoT security right away. 

Protecting Business Data from IoT Security Threats

While every organizational structure may approach IoT security differently, there are baseline best practices you should employ to protect business data from IoT threats. By securing IoT devices, you can better manage the consequences of having connected smart devices and other internet-connected devices.

Assign an Administrator of Things

An administrator of things will be in charge of ensuring IoT device security risk is minimal; this can include in-office IoT devices, remote work security protocols, and even embedded devices for overall endpoint security. 

This person will work in tandem with your security manager and physical security team so that they are regularly monitoring cybersecurity policies and cyber threats. 

Run Employee Monitoring for Security Monitoring, Even in Remote Settings

Employee monitoring software is automated, smart software that can track and analyze employee behaviors. This means that businesses can use one software for monitoring human behavior and productivity as well as security risks. 

Monitoring software operates on user behavior analytics as well, which can learn expected, normal behaviors and immediately alert the admin to any anomalous behaviors. They can even trace where the treat comes from, so you can make the next steps for increasing security.  

Regularly Update and Patch Security

Vulnerabilities are a major issue for IoT technology. In-office, be sure to regularly check for updates and patches as this can solve a lot of simple security issues. Even older vulnerabilities can increase in layered capacity with IoT devices so you can never be too sure.

Set Up Protocols for Remote Workers

While steps need to be taken to secure the network of a business, you will also need to establish protocols for remote workers. This includes protocols, access entry points, secure monitoring, and regular updates for their devices. 

As much as you can, assign a business computer so that your security team has the ultimate control over the security settings. 

Increase WiFi Security and Install a Firewall

A firewall is a must, and security teams need to go to extra lengths to strengthen WiFi security and secure the network. Consider enabling router firewall, disabling WPS, enabling WPA2 security protocols, and encouraging strong password use for WiFi access.

Use Network Segmentation

Network segmentation is a trusted security technique that can help isolate the connections available to external, third-party, and IoT devices. 

This can make IoT-connected device security management far easier and you know that even if the security is weakened, hackers can’t hack into your business network through the IoT devices and then make lateral movements to more important data. This also goes with access settings and role permissions as well. 

Get a Secure Cloud-Based IoT Solution

IoT cloud convergence is increasing, so the administrator of things and security advisers will also need to look at the security implications of that IoT device plus the cloud. 

Cloud-based solutions can deliver added security and processing capabilities, but not using a trusted source can increase the vulnerabilities. 

Consider an IoT Security Management Tool

Your employee monitoring software can also be used as a management tool for keeping track of security across a range of devices and device settings. 

Each IoT device will be using different protocols as well, so you will have to configure for Bluetooth, Near Field Communication, nRF24, nRFxx, 443MHz, LoRA, LoRaWAN, optical, infrared communication, and more. 

Your administrator of things or security supervisor should be taking these into consideration and monitoring them in the monitoring software to prevent threats. 

Trust SoftActivity for Monitoring Your Internet of Things (IoT) Environments At Work and Remote Work Settings

SoftActivity monitoring provides comprehensive software to security and administrators for network and IoT devices security monitoring. 

Access insider threat detection, user behavior analytics, and more using SoftActivity. Our software has the following security features:

  • Track user behaviors in real-time
  • Provide one monitoring console for administrators to use
  • Remotely deploy and monitor from a single computer 
  • Monitor keystrokes for tracking insider threats
  • Apply user behavior analytics for learned monitoring

Increase your IoT security with SoftActivity monitoring software.

By SoftActivity Team.

August 1st, 2022