IoT Device Security: Connect but Verify

IoT devices make consumer lives more convenient. With improper security, they make hackers’ lives more convenient, as well. All it takes is one open port or one bad password— and the device is easily compromised.

From manufacturers to universities, everyone has their eye on the convenience and efficiency that The Internet of Things (IoT) can provide. While our personal and professional lives stand to benefit from connected technology, the trick becomes: how do we maintain our privacy and security when all our data is connected by multiple, always-on devices?

IoT is an ecosystem of wirelessly connected devices that transmit and receive data. While this connectivity makes our everyday tasks easier, a larger web of wireless devices creates more vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.

In fact, in 2020, a hacker admitted to scanning the Internet for unsecured IoT devices whose owners failed to practice good password management. He used factory-set default passwords and usernames and easy-to-guess password combinations to compile a list of over 515,000 devices with exposed Telnet ports. In short, one bad password can lead to one serious malware infection.

Thankfully, embracing IoT doesn’t mean instant malware or compromised data. With some basic security hygiene, organizations of all sizes can minimize the risks associated with the ever-evolving technology landscape.

1. Authentication

Ensure only authorized personnel can access your networks. Check the integrity of passwords or investigate hardware-based (not human-based) identifiers, such as radio-frequency identification (RFID).

2. Encryption

Protect data while it is in transit and when it is stored. Implement encryption methods that compress data in real time, at the byte level, to minimize resource consumption.

3. Device Management

Create an archive or inventory of trusted devices, so you can isolate outside devices that have not been approved to connect to the network.

4. Network Segmentation

Partition IoT devices from your organization’s standard IT devices. If security is compromised through an IoT device, your operational IT infrastructure will remain secure.

With 75 billion IoT devices predicted by 2025— and cyber crime increasing every year— the need to implement IoT best practices is clear. Securance makes this process easy. Contact us today for a free IoT security consultation.