Technologies | July 6, 2023

IoT Security: The Complete Guide to the Internet of Things (IoT) Security For Your Business

What IoT devices may live in your organization, why securing them is so important, the most common vulnerabilities, and how to secure them? Read the article!

IOT Devices

Internet of Things (IoT) technology is everywhere. What started as a technical term for any device that shares data on the internet is now a household name, with thousands of objects now equipped to be ‘smart enabled‘, including cameras, speakers, doorbells, and medical equipment. 

But while the benefits of commercial and consumer IoT are fantastic, for businesses across the globe, commercial IoT also comes with a lot of risk. Since the dawn of time, people have tried to steal what matters most to us, and cybercriminals now have many new and dangerous ways to exploit your business unless your IoT security is solid and secure. 

In this article, we’ll look at all things IoT security, including what IoT devices may live in your organization, why securing them is so important, the most common vulnerabilities, and how to secure them. Then, to finish, we’ll share how an IT partner like Inetum can help you build a top-notch IoT security strategy.

Let’s get started!

What Is An Internet of Things (IoT) Device For Your Business?

An IoT device is any network-based, physical item that isn’t a computer, mobile phone, or tablet. In the enterprise space, IoT devices can be deployed anywhere, helping to capture data that improves operational efficiency, drives new products or services, and enhances management decision-making.

Common commercial IoT systems include:

  • Printers
  • IP cameras
  • Sensors
  • Lighting
  • HVAC systems
  • Access control systems.

Why Is IoT Security Important? What’s The Cybersecurity Risk To Your Business?

While most organizations have strong IT controls and protocols, the security best practices of many IoT devices are unknown to many organizations. This presents a problem because when these devices are connected to your network, you expose your entire infrastructure. 

Expanding to an IoT network creates a whole host of IoT security risks. This is because you generate more visibility on your network, build more entry points, and creates new areas of vulnerability on top of your existing network security requirements. 

Put simply, the more connected devices and the greater the number of operating systems you have, the greater your risk of intrusion. That’s why your cybersecurity strategy needs to extend to include secure IoT tactics.

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The Top 3 IoT Security Issues to Be Aware Of

Like with your traditional IT infrastructure, cybercriminals across the globe are taking advantage of IoT vulnerabilities in organizations. While many of the attack paths are the same, they are some slight nuances to be aware of when it comes to Internet of Things security. 

Here are the three main areas threat actors looks to take advantage of: 

  • IoT Exploits. With the rate of change and emerging nature of IoT, devices are riddled with unknown exploits just waiting to be taken advantage of. Classics such as network scanning, SQL injection, and buffer overload are still present with IoT devices, so be on the lookout for unknown security breaches.
  • Malware. As soon as IoT devices became commonplace, criminals were writing malicious malware code to crack them. Unfortunately, Trojans, Ransomware, and Worms are still the main threat with IoT devices, with specific ‘IoT Worms’ one of the most common routes of attack for those wishing to gain unauthorized access. 
  • Human Factors. As has always been the case, in many instances, humans are one of the most significant risks associated with IoT cybersecurity. Because many IoT devices seem small and insignificant, many organizations don’t encourage people to heighten their awareness, leading to phishing attacks and weak password breaches. 

Read also: Introduction to the world of Azure IoT  

IoT Security Best Practices: A 4-Step Approach To Protect Your Business

While the threats of an IoT attack are very real, the good news is, it’s not impossible to put controls in place to manage your risk against cyberattacks. 

Here’s a high-level approach for building out your IoT strategy and overcoming the majority of security challenges. 

  1. Upskill your team. Even though IoT is a new technology, it’s not entirely unknown. Like all areas of IT, knowledge is power, so invest some time, energy, and money into upgrading your organization’s IoT cyber knowledge.  
  2. Identify your IoT risks. This all starts by identifying your organization’s size, scale, and distribution of IoT devices. Understand where your attackers may try to gain access, and you can begin implementing measures to mitigate key risks to your organization. 
  3. Take mitigating action. There’s no point knowing about risks if you don’t manage them. IoT devices aren’t particularly special, so tactics such as attack surface rules, enhanced encryption, extending your endpoint security and firewall systems, and regular firmware updates will really help. Again, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, just mirror your existing network security approach into the IoT space. 
  4. Detect and respond. As we all know, a cyberattack is a matter of when not if. Plus, with the growing number of IoT devices available on the market, your chances of an attack are only going to increase. Put processes and controls in place to detect when an attack, such as DDOS, is inbound, and ensure you have suitable ways to respond to protect your organization. 

Implement some of these security measures, and you’ll be operating secure IoT devices that allow you to leverage the benefits of new technology without exposing yourself to unnecessary security and privacy risks. 

How Inetum Can Help With IoT Security Solutions

While many of us are used to IoT devices in our homes, many organizations haven’t yet taken to leap to bring them into business operations. Or, if they have, they aren’t using them to their fullest potential. 

That’s where a technology partner, such as Inetum, can help. Access to enhanced data sets from IoT devices can help you: 

  • Gain additional insights into customer behavior and preferences
  • Unlock new products and services, driving increased revenue and profit
  • Keep important assets safe and secure all year round
  • Boost operational efficiencies by identifying waste and being alert to issues.

But as we’ve seen, you can only reap the rewards if you keep your business safe. Our team of IoT experts is on hand to help you keep your business safe by leveraging techniques such as micro-segmentation, network access control, secure gateway management, team awareness training, and many, many more

If you’d like to learn more about IoT deployment, implementation, or security, you can check out our upcoming 3-part IoT webinar series hosted by a collection of Inetum’s IoT experts and Digital Transformation consultants. 

Get yourself signed up by clicking the link on our dedicated webinar page where we will keep you updated you on upcoming online events:  

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

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