What is the IoT?
The number of devices that utilize the internet of things, or IoT, increases every day. The internet of things is a term used to describe physical devices connected to an IT network. Connected devices include everything from cellphones and smart speakers to lamps and wearable devices. It is estimated that there will be more than 26 billion devices connected by the year 2020. With so many devices being connected, it is important to realize the security impact that they can bring to your business.
Consumers across the world are enjoying the ability for their washing machines to order their own detergent and for their alarm to sound a to-do list at the beginning of each day and seem unaware of the risks this technology can bring. It is convenient for you to have your calendar synched up to multiple devices, but could it hurt you if criminals knew when you would be out of town on vacation? More seriously, these devices can be used to infiltrate the entire network that they’re connected to or programmed to cause harm. Especially with the prevalence of cyber-attacks lately, it is important to consider these factors.
How can you protect your IoT device?
Because a lot of these connected devices are so new, they don’t have the dedicated support staff necessary to ensure their protection is up to date. Many consumers don’t realize the amount of time and effort that engineers go through when designing, testing, and deploying patches and upgrades that help deter attacks and improve user experience. Additionally, the devices that do have the ability to be updated must be connected to computers in order for the update to be implemented.
Connected devices such as smart accessories and wearable devices will hopefully achieve a long lifespan. However, it is possible that the startup that produced your device could go out of business. In that case, there is even less of a chance that your device will be secure and supported. This reliability can be determined through the longevity of the company or through an examination of the user agreement. This agreement is critical. It dictates how the device can be used and what the manufacturer will have access to. It is important to choose a reliable company to purchase from or buy it from a reputable provider that offers a warranty or support package.
If your business utilizes this technology and wants to mitigate the risks associated with these devices, it is critical to designate their proper management. Implementing strict processes regarding the use of these devices will add an additional layer of security. This process should involve unique, complex passwords and frequent audits and backups. Reducing the amount of automation these devices provide will affect user experience, but is necessary in order to remain proactive against threats.
With time, we hope to see many more improvements in the manufacturing, management, and security of IoT devices. Until then, if your business is utilizing these devices, you can trust us to help monitor and protect your infrastructure. Stay tuned to our blog to hear more industry news, tips and tricks, and company achievements!