IoT, or internet of things, has become a very common phrase in the networking and cybersecurity world. Simply put, IoT refers to the vast range of various internet connected devices and sensors that are increasingly becoming common parts of everyday life. This could include devices like connected speakers or smart thermostats in the home. In the future, IoT devices may include sensors that help self-driving vehicles communicate with each other. The way people and businesses use the internet is rapidly changing thanks to new, inventive devices every day.
Of course, all of this change is not without challenge. There was a time that hackers had limited access to someone’s life or internet network. A computer was pretty much the only connected device many people owned until smartphones gained popularity. Today, there could be dozens of connected devices in a home. Every single one presents a potential cybersecurity weak point for criminals to exploit.
Thankfully, understanding the challenges around IoT cybersecurity can help businesses better prepare preventative measures. Here are some of the prevailing concerns about IoT cybersecurity and how to overcome them.
The Vast Number of Devices
Perhaps the most significant concern about IoT devices revolves around just how many IoT devices are out there and how quickly that number is growing. As mentioned, many people are already using IoT devices like smart speakers. There are also connected light bulbs, doorbells, video cameras, and so much more. Plus, society as a whole has only begun to scratch the surface of IoT. In the future, IoT devices will be at the heart of everything people do. From home, to work, to transportation; IoT devices and sensors are going to be transmitting data every second of every day.
More devices, quite simply, means more potential points where a cybersecurity incident could occur. Do all devices being added to a network meet security standards? Are they regularly updated? Do they work with existing devices? Staying on top of planned updates and vetting hardware before implementing it onto a network is the best way to avoid potentially catastrophic cybersecurity incidents. As the IoT ecosystem grows, many businesses will turn to managed IT services to help manage this growing workload.
Poor Device Security
Even if IT professionals have done their homework to ensure devices are updated in a timely manner and deployed according to security protocols; there is no golden rule that says manufacturers have to keep up with security updates on their devices. It’s important to remember that many IoT device manufacturers are in the business of producing consumer goods; not the business of cybersecurity.
As a result, many IT providers set up networks to isolate connected devices from essential data. This means that the device can perform its intended duty without potentially exposing the entire network to a potential security flaw. The light switch does not need access to sensitive client data and proactive IT managers will ensure the network is organized correctly.
Lack of Device Management
In order to address an issue, the people in charge must be aware of the issue. Seems quite simple, right? One of the main challenges with IoT is that the people in charge of managing connected devices within a business are simply unaware of the devices on their network or unequipped to effectively manage the devices in the first place. There are countless devices out there that connect to the internet and serve any number of purposes.
An example of this challenge could simply be employees bringing in personal connected devices to use in their workspace. They connect the device to the office Wi-Fi and go about their day. They weren’t doing anything malicious and the people around them may see no issue with what they have done. However, in reality, they have just connected an unknown and unapproved device to the network and added a potential cybersecurity threat to the network. This may seem dramatic but cybercriminals just need one weak access point in order to wreak havoc on an entire network and every device connected to it.
With managed IT services, device management is at the core of everything. With a team of IT professionals working together, monitoring networks and managing devices becomes simple for businesses looking to take cybersecurity seriously while still enjoying the many benefits offered by IoT devices.
Challenge Presented; Problem Solved
With the growing landscape of connected devices and the potential cybersecurity challenges they can present; managed IT services are growing in popularity for businesses seeking IT assistance on a reasonable budget.
To learn more about how managed IT services and IoT devices can work hand-in-hand, contact the IT experts at CDS Office Technologies today.