How to Boost IoT Network Security
The Internet of Things is rapidly gaining popularity for the manifold benefits it offers to individuals and businesses. It’s expected that more than 25 billion devices would be equipped with the IoT technology by next year, which would simplify the lives of users. Yet, it is reported that around 80% of the IoT-enabled devices at present have not adopted adequate security measures to protect the data and assets of their users from cyberattacks. This can make it especially risky for large businesses to rely on an IoT network because they are the most common targets for cybercriminals. However, both enterprise service providers and users can implement some simple security strategies to lower the risks of cyberattacks and data loss. Below are some of the ways in which you can boost your security of the IoT network.
Have Strong Password Policies
Creating a strong password to protect data is the first line of defense in any industry. You should ensure to create one using a combination of numbers, alphabets, and special characters, as well as update it in regular intervals to make sure that your account is secure. When creating a password, be certain that the entire password sequence does not have any literal meaning in any known language. This would further fortify the security strategy. Besides, you should also make sure that each one of your IoT-enabled devices is locked with a different unique password. This list should include your Wi-Fi network as well. You can use an exclusive pattern to remember the passwords as well as update them easily.
Disconnect your Devices after Use
If you are using any of your IoT-enabled devices occasionally, then you should make sure to disconnect them from the network when they are not in use. This can be done for devices that do not require an uninterrupted internet connection always, such as your smart TV or coffee maker, which you can turn off at the end of the day without affecting other devices in the network. Unchecked internet connectivity can make it easier for cybercriminals to attack the network. So, turning off the devices or disconnecting them from the network when not in use can be of great help to bar illegitimate access.
Keep the IoT Network Exclusive
Keeping the number of devices connected to the IoT network under limit can also significantly help to boost its security. It would be more sensible to have a dedicated network for your IoT devices rather than connecting them over an open Wi-Fi network that is accessible to many users. You can get in touch with your internet service provider to get an exclusive network layer in order to isolate your IoT network and make it more secure against external threats. Such segmentation would also work to keep the sensitive data of your enterprise private from other users, so that they’re no risks of data loss in case of a data leak or data breach.
Regularly Track the Network Activities
You should regularly track the activities on the IoT network to make sure that it’s secure and protected from cyberattacks. In fact, tracking and monitoring the network forms the foundation of any strong security strategy. You should be able to monitor the location of all devices connected to the network, know their status, as well as be aware of who is using them in real-time. You should also keep an eye on how many users access the network, which would help you assess the overall traffic of your IoT network. At the same time, you should be able to monitor the uses of the connected devices, so that you can identify if any external device is trying to seek access to the network.
Keep the Network and Devices Updated
Regular updates are very essential for any enterprise solution to revamp the security practices employed in it. Apart from the added features and functionalities it brings, updating the device or network can also be useful to install security patches for new types of bugs, resolve existing security concerns, and make sure that the IoT performance is at its optimal level. It is recommended to keep the automatic update mode on, so that security patches for deep concerns can be easily integrated into the network and connected devices. Remember that even cybercriminals equip themselves with the latest tools to gain access to sensitive data. So updating your network and devices with the best possible security measures is always essential.
Encrypt the Data
Most of the IoT-enabled devices share data to make things simpler for the user. For instance, a smart device attached to your vehicle would need to stream its real-time location in order to deliver the best results. In addition to that, it would also share the details of your daily routes, driving habits, stopovers, driving time, etc., to other connected devices to make sure that you get the best experience from the IoT network. However, if such data is not protected, it could end up in the hands of cybercriminals, who can use it to perform a theft in your house when you are away. That is why you should always use the best encryption strategies to secure the data shared by your IoT devices.
Stop Using your IoT Devices at the Office
With the boom in the BYOD or Bring Your Own Device trend, more and more companies are encouraging their employees to use their personal devices at the office. While that can benefit to keep all your work synced-up and make it easier to meet deadlines, you should make sure that you do not use any of the IoT-enabled devices over the public network at the office. You can always rely on the network security measures implemented by the company, but it still puts your personal information at risk. Therefore, it would be better not to use your IoT-enabled devices for any purposes when connected to a public network. Instead, you can have separate devices for personal and office use.
Verify User Authentication
One of the most important jobs of any business enterprise is to assign specific roles and responsibilities to its staff members. The growing risk of data breaches and data leaks has made it mandatory for all enterprises to educate and train their employees about the dangers of data loss. At the same time, it is essential to control the risk inside the organization as well by allowing access to the IoT network to authorized users only. By clearly setting different access privileges to different employees, you can not only limit the risks of data leaks, but also make sure that the person accessing data on the network performs his/her activities responsibly.