Without question, the Internet of Things (IoT) has opened countless virtual doors, allowing organizations across the globe to access, analyze and leverage data like never before. Unfortunately, with literally billions of devices now connected to corporate networks, the risk of potential cybersecurity breaches has also increased tenfold. Sophisticated hackers are working round the clock to identify and exploit device vulnerabilities in an attempt to gain access to sensitive networks and cloud environments.
Let’s take a look at some of the key cybersecurity concerns surrounding the adoption of IoT technology and what you can do to protect your company.
- Surface Attacks – Hackers gain access to a network via an IoT connected device.
- Perimeter Attacks – Since IoT technology requires the use of cloud-based services, perimeter attacks must be taken into account.
- Privacy Violations – IoT data collection and advanced analytics present added risk to consumer privacy.
- Device Management – Many IoT devices do not support adequate security controls, and with the rapid growth of additional devices hitting the market, maintaining a security baseline continues to be challenging.
- Third Party Risk – The IoT is inherently interconnected and multiple service providers have access to data, making it difficult to identify and manage potential cybersecurity incidents.
- Compliance – Lack of clear understanding of the unique legal and regulatory requirements associated with IoT could lead to costly noncompliance situations.
In order to account for these added cybersecurity risks, organizations should focus on the development of security and incident management processes which extend existing policies to address the unique aspects of IoT technology. Additionally, companies leveraging the IoT should consider implementing the following steps:
Risk Assessment and Training – A comprehensive audit should be conducted to assess the level of risk the organization may be dealing with due to IoT adoption, particularly those companies that plan on dealing with third parties. Employees and customers alike should be adequately educated and properly trained on IoT cybersecurity measures.
Network Security – Segment the network and strengthen network access controls to minimize damages should an IoT device become compromised. Extend existing security monitoring and incident response activities to include the addition of IoT devices.
Development and Testing – Identify and address any insecure areas, such as cloud, mobile and web interfaces. Perform regular penetration testing and use information gathered to develop behavioral profiles of all connected devices and users. Incorporate into monitoring strategy.
Data Protection – Utilize strong data encryption policies and extend existing data protection programs to include IoT transactions. If necessary, enhance existing data privacy policies to prevent potential privacy violations.
Endpoint Security – Incorporate a firewall and intrusion prevention system to further strengthen security against IoT cyberattacks. Use secure booting and perform regular integrity checks to enhance operating system security. Limit and control access to the network and device resources.
The IoT has made an indelible impact on the business world, enabling organizations of all sizes and industries to collect, analyze and use valuable data that in many cases would have previously been inaccessible. And with experts predicting the number of worldwide IoT devices growing to around 25 billion by 2020, it’s something all companies must consider. Along with this greater adoption, businesses will also need to adapt and implement new and improved cybersecurity measures to protect precious data from landing in the wrong hands.