IoT devices are being widely adopted in households in this day and age across the world. With the extensive usage, there’s also an increase in the commercial use of these devices. Businesses in various industries – be it healthcare to manufacturing, all are somewhat dependent on IoT technologies to boost the efficiency of their day-to-day tasks.
While one cannot deny how IoT devices serve a great purpose both in personal and professional use. However, people tend to overlook the security threats that come with it. And many businesses without realizing are putting great risk to the infrastructure they have built, simply because of the sheer dependency they have on internet-enabled devices. To put an end to such risks, it’s best that a network is built that is secure enough to support IoT devices without any impending risk, causing any kind of loss in the business.
The threats with IoT devices
As we are all aware, IoT devices are quite convenient and helpful but they potentially are a great source of risk for any infrastructure. Some of the common threats related to IoT include denial of service attacks, man-in-the-middle threats, botnet threats, identity, and data theft, ransomware attacks, and other security threats like a remote recording. With all these in mind, we are breaking down five reasons why you should think twice before incorporating IoT devices into your network
The risk of loss or theft
Mobile IoT devices generally serve to be a great asset in your business but they can potentially cause a threat to your business due to the high risk of loss and/or theft. These devices are valuable and anyone can try and get their hands on them causing not just financial loss but also loss of data that is connected to that tool.
Hence, it’s fair to say that mobile devices can serve as a backdoor to higher levels of security infrastructure if not well taken care of.
IoT devices are not secured
Whether you’re new to using IoT devices or have had experience using them earlier, you must bear in mind that they are not secured devices. The lack of security features means that you have to go through a series of steps to protect your device before using it. This includes changing your default passwords frequently, updating the operating system whenever you’re notified with an update, and ensuring there is no suspicious activity doing rounds within the network. Another good protective measure would be to use a VPN to reduce security risks when operating IoT devices.
Not being familiar enough with IoT devices
IoT devices are relatively new in the market so not being familiar enough with them is completely understandable. This can become a problem if you try to incorporate IoT devices in a company where people are not educated or trained enough to handle them. Additionally, IoT devices tend to produce massive amounts of data that can be easy for any hacker to get into. So, it’s best that whoever uses IoT devices is well-trained enough before taking on the challenge of dealing with them.
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No decommissioning process is in place
What does one do when a company is done using its IoT devices? You can’t just dump them in the trash, can you? You need to be specific enough in the decommissioning process that protects your company’s data long after it has been used. Bear in mind that all IoT devices carry a lot of data that is confidential, including proprietary information about your company as well as user credentials. If all this is not well taken care of, it can easily be exploited if it gets in the wrong hands. So, make sure to put together a plan that is practical in how to safely dispose of your IoT devices when you no longer need them.
How to protect your network
The swift adoption of IoT devices in business has led to various security vulnerabilities which are inescapable at times. A study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute has shown that it takes up to 280 days for businesses to identify a data breach in their system, which is extremely concerning if you consider the rate at which security attacks are taking place at present. These include tracking and managing your IoT device inventory, conducting security training, and ensuring your staff members are on the same page when handling IoT devices. Most importantly, it is vital to use a VPN in such unpredictable times to add an extra layer of protection to your entire network, saving you from the ongoing cyber threats you read about.