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3 Strategies Enterprises Should Adopt to Secure IoT Networks

Enterprise Security Magazine | Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Although IoT devices have never borne a secure tag, enterprises have always been cautious even during its nascent stages. Fast forward to the present, there is more to worry.

Fremont, CA: The outcomes of a recent study by a network security firm Zscaler, which analyzed about 56 million IoT device transactions on 1050 enterprise networks, came as a shocker to the cybersecurity industry. As per the month-long study, more than 91% of the transactions go nonencrypted, meaning they are totally vulnerable to theft or manipulation by hackers.

Perhaps, more than the revelation, it is the amount of unprotected data on IoT that is terrifying. Adding to the complexity is the fact that any IoT malware or attack is relatively difficult to locate as compared to several other cyber attacks.

This scenario calls for urgent implementation of IoT security measures. Here are a few steps to safeguard enterprise IoT.

Knowing Your IoT Devices

It is fundamental to know what IoT devices are being connected or used in an organizational network. During this search, any unwanted devices such as those by employees or clients should be taken off. Devices that don’t have to be a permanent connection should be removed as well. An analysis of the functions of the concerned device in the network and how else it can possibly be used is to be done to avoid possibilities of cyber attacks.

Upgrading Security

A common fact regarding the security concerns through IoT devices is that the current devices have gone far beyond the available safety procedures. Applying continuous firmware and enhanced security to the IoT devices is mandatory here. Also, it is crucial to isolate IoT devices on enterprise networks. Inbound and outbound traffic through networks is to be restricted as well.

Specifically, individual devices should be secured. Devices can be susceptible to attacks if their access codes are weak or carelessly shared with other systems. Implementing biometric authentication procedures such as facial recognition or biometrics would be a much safer option.

Another way to safeguard IoT devices is enabling different networks for specific devices if security vulnerabilities exist. A perfect example here would the Wi-Fi networks that enable access to guests. An added benefit for organizations would be to use encryptions on all IoT devices, if possible.

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Sticking to Enterprise Grade IoT Devices

In the recent past, different types of consumer grade IoT devices are available in the market with absolutely no in-built security measures. Surprisingly, many of these are used in enterprise networks as well. It is imperative to scan these devices extensively.

All in all, organizations should extend a comprehensive approach towards securing IoT networks by reviewing available devices, constantly authenticating, instilling integrity and encrypting thoroughly.