11 Ways IoT Affects Security (And What You Can Do)

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 09-24-2014 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Regularly Update Software
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    Regularly Update Software

    Set all network-connected devices to enable the vendor's auto-update security features. This reduces the number of security vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
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    Seek Out New Protection Layers
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    Seek Out New Protection Layers

    Sometimes a strong Internet security product might be the only thing that stands between a user and an attack. Although endpoint protection products can't be applied to smaller IoT devices, they can be installed on machines that store the data.
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    Periodically revisit Your BYOD Policy
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    Periodically revisit Your BYOD Policy

    Are you unknowingly allowing potential security threats because of lax rules? Incorporate IoT into your security policy, and revisit the policy every quarter as technology and access points change.
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    Educate Your Employees
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    Educate Your Employees

    Prevent a BYOD open rebellion by educating your employees on IT policy updates. Don't simply explain why changes are being implemented. Instead, encourage employees to come forth with additional ideas for protecting the enterprise.
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    Use Strong Passwords on IoT-Related Websites
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    Use Strong Passwords on IoT-Related Websites

    Since senior executives are primary targets for phishing, it's important that any personal information—even things as simple as exercise and eating habits—are protected with strong passwords.
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    Don't Connect Through Social Media
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    Don't Connect Through Social Media

    It's common for IoT devices to allow users to log-in through existing accounts, such as Facebook. Opt to create your own account for any IoT Websites so that your other sites are secure even if one falls
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    Never Share Personal Information
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    Never Share Personal Information

    Some IoT sites allow you to publish your exercise or dietary information. Don't. This helps cybercriminals to craft effective phishing emails. As often as possible, use fake personal information when registering for access to new applications and programs, Websites, or establishing new online accounts
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    Proactively Monitor Threats
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    Proactively Monitor Threats

    Use data analytics programs to monitor and pinpoint security threats.
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    Know IoT-Related Privacy Policies
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    Know IoT-Related Privacy Policies

    Read the fine print before accepting "yes" when using an IoT-related Website. Are you unknowingly granting access to other areas of your computer or phone?
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    Don't Auto-Save Passwords
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    Don't Auto-Save Passwords

    By default, many web browsers ask if you would like to save passwords. Never auto-save passwords to IoT devices. Instead, invest in a password management tool, like LastPass or Roboform, which integrates on all of your devices.
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    Properly Deactivate Devices
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    Properly Deactivate Devices

    Know how to properly deactivate, wipe clean and recycle an IoT device. Even if a device breaks or malfunctions, the data can still exist. Erase it before giving up control of the device.
 

As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, a variety of seemingly innocent consumer devices are connecting to companies' networks. They have the potential to negatively affect corporations, including compromising enterprise security. When employees bring their devices to the workplace, they connect them to company Wi-Fi and networks, giving hackers and intruders a new way to get in. Even worse, companies can be harmed without them even knowing, according to six consulting experts at Conventus, an enterprise security consulting firm. According to Cisco, the IoT could grow from 14.4 billion devices this year to 50.1 billion by 2020, while Gartner says the IoT installed base will grow to 26 billion units by 2020. "In addition to paving the way for how we find information, IoT changed our expectations of information—that it will always be available instantly," says Kevin Saucier, a Conventus consultant. "In our impatience, we forget that while we are gathering information, the Internet is gathering information about us." Below are Conventus' 11 tips for ways to safeguard your company.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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