Cybersecurity in the IoT Age

Cybersecurity in the IoT AgeWithout 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.

Want to learn more about how the Ayehu automation and orchestration platform can enhance your organization’s IoT security strategy? Contact us today or start automating today with your free 30 day trial.

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The Role of IT Automation in the IoT – Is Your Organization Ready?

The role of IT process automation in the IoTIn the IT realm, perhaps there is no bigger buzzword than the IoT, short for the Internet of Things. With billions of connected devices and experts predicting tens of billions more over the next five years, it’s become a necessity for businesses to prepare accordingly. To do so, organizations must first understand exactly what the IoT is, the impact it will likely have and the role of things like IT automation in terms of security. Is your company ready? Let’s take a look.

What is the IoT?

Just because the term IoT is relatively recent doesn’t mean the actual concept of the “internet of everything” is anything new. In fact, we’ve been living in a hyper-connected world for decades now. Every time you check your email on your smartphone or conduct a mobile banking activity, you’re engaging with interconnected devices, apps and systems on a daily basis.

But if Gartner Research’s prediction that the number of connected devices will surge from 4.9 billion in 2015 to around 25 billion by the year 2020 holds true, organizations must be prepared to handle the tremendous amount of data that will be coming in through all these connected areas. More importantly, they must find more enhanced ways to protect their own sensitive data.

Automation will be the key…

With so much connectivity and subsequent data, being able to keep up with the volume while also maintaining optimum efficiency levels simply won’t be possible with human workers alone. IT automation will be the key to bridging the gap between human limitations and technology’s capabilities. With automation, data can be instantly collected and seamlessly passed between devices as it’s simultaneously being analyzed.

Another important area where IT automation will provide the ideal solution will be security. As the IoT continues to grow at an incredibly fast rate, more and more vulnerabilities will be exposed. Cyber criminals will be waiting for the opportunity to take advantage of compromised systems to the detriment of businesses. Once again, human workers will find it impossible to stay on top of all the incoming threats, especially as the number of connected devices grows.

IT automation can help fill in where there is lack by acting behind the scenes to automatically identify, analyze and prioritize the hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of incoming threats so that nothing is allowed to slip through the cracks. As a result, infrastructures will be stronger and the potential damages caused by a breach will be limited.

Like it or not, the IoT is coming and it’s coming fast. Make sure your business is prepared ahead of time by investing in IT automation to maximize efficiency and fortify your security strategy.

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