Over the last few years, the growth in Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices has increased exponentially, transforming how enterprises and small businesses collect, store, process and manage data.
The growth in IoT connected devices presents a lot of exciting opportunities for innovation and improvements in the way we get insights into customer behavior, business processes, operational costs and more.
As IoT connected devices increase in number, so to do security concerns. Security teams are presented with increasingly difficult challenges when it comes to keeping sensitive data secure on IoT devices. In order to successfully ensure that enterprises can secure data on IoT devices, we’ve put together 5 key tips.
For more info on the rapid growth of IoT devices how to properly secure them, check out this interview we did with Paul Clayson, the CEO of AgilePQ.
How to Secure Sensitive Data on IoT Devices
Ideally, securing data on IoT devices should be a doddle, if you ensure that your connected devices are secure by design. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, this isn’t always going to be possible. For this reason, we’ve listed five ways that you can help to secure data on IoT devices.
1. Find Out How Many IoT Connected Devices You Have
When it comes to securing data on IoT connected devices, there is no more logical place to start than locating the number of IoT devices you actually have on your network. You need to know which types you have and what the devices are so that you can catalog any potential security vulnerabilities that your sensitive data may be exposed to. You should ensure that your list of connected devices is up to date and that you use it to segment your firewall policies.
2. Ensure Strict Password Policies
Compromised credentials frequently result in data breaches, and the same applies when we’re discussing IoT connected devices. Implementing stringent password policies that include complex passwords that must be regularly updated, helps to take some of the risk away. As soon as any IoT device is connected to the network, its password should be changed immediately to something more in keeping with this new policy.
3. Keep Everything Up to Date
It should go without saying, but unfortunately many organizations and individuals do not keep their devices up to date. Most IT systems are regularly updated to help patch known security vulnerabilities, but IoT devices aren’t often kept to the same standard. You need to ensure that users are actively going to the vendor website when setting up new IoT devices and downloading the latest security patches. Establish a regular software update schedule to ensure that attackers cannot easily exploit known vulnerabilities in your systems.
4. Limit IoT Devices to Only the Useful Ones
When it comes to IoT devices, more does not necessarily mean better. Ensure you have analyzed the usefulness of each connected device and compared that to the security risks. Only implement IoT devices that you know will bring a tangible benefit to your business. Any IoT devices that aren’t currently adding a benefit to your business should be disconnected.
5. Monitor Your Connected Devices
There are plenty of solutions out there that can analyze the behavior of all your network connected devices. When choosing a security solution that is designed to monitor how your sensitive data is being used on connected devices, ensure you pick one that can integrate with a more comprehensive Data Security Platform. That way, you can be sure that, wherever your sensitive data is located, you know where it is, who has access to it and what users are doing with it.