Technology plays a great role in our lives. From communication devices, TVs, health monitoring equipment, or smart home equipment, technology is everywhere around us making our lives easier and more convenient.
The Internet of Things has made a big impact not only for individuals but also for businesses by improving productivity and efficiency throughout the entire business operations. Although it is true that it brings various benefits into our lives, the truth is that it can also bring risks. Cybercriminals can use these devices and their internet connection to access your confidential data.
Benefits of IoT devices and systems
Due to its convenience, IoT devices are already widely used in businesses in the forms of security cameras, voice assistants, smart locks or badge readers, HVAC controls, printers, lighting systems, and much more. According to the Global data research, the internet of things (IoT) market by revenue will be worth $1.1 trillion by 2024, with the possibility of COVID 19 speeding up the growth. It is time for businesses to accept the fact IoT is here to stay and implement it into their operations.
The major benefits these smart devices can bring to your business are:
- Increase in the productivity and efficiency
- Creating new business opportunities
- Reducing human labor
- Enabling better use of resources
- Improved work safety
- Driving marketing development
- Improving customer service and reducing user friction
- Reducing costs
- Ensuring mobility and flexibility
Threats IoT devices are facing
Many business leaders presume that IoT devices are secure and can’t cause any significant damage as they have limited access, forgetting that not only they are connected to the internet. But in most cases, they are also connected to the other devices in your business operations. In the first six months of 2021, there was a more than 100-percent growth in cyberattacks against internet-of-things (IoT) devices, with 1.5 billion attacks. Any device that is connected to the internet can deal a fatal blow to the company. As cybercriminals can use it to access your entire system and your confidential data.
Every software, app, and programming can have some security vulnerabilities which cybercriminals can exploit for their malicious purposes. While the software developers are constantly working on ways to fix those vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals keep coming up with new methods like code injections or cross-site scripting to exploit them.
By using malicious software cybercriminals can gain access to your IoT devices and use that access to destroy your data or damage the device. The worst thing about malware attacks on IoT devices is that they can infect other devices that are connected to the same network causing significant damage to your business.
With this type of cyber attack, cybercriminals intercept Internet traffic and use it to their benefit. For example, a team of hackers has managed to discover a man-in-the-middle vulnerability in a Samsung smart refrigerator that could be exploited to steal Gmail users’ login credentials and with that access users’ accounts.
How to ensure the security of your business from cyber-attacks?
In order to use IoT devices to their full potential, you need to ensure the security and security of your business. Luckily, you can do that by following the tips below.
Choose IoT devices providers carefully
You should always try to choose IoT devices from well-known and reliable suppliers. They will need regular updates to patch up any vulnerabilities that might show up. This is why you want a supplier that will be around for a long time and has a history of providing updates for their devices.
Invest in cyber security tools
Since cybercrime is on the rise, you now have more risk assessment options at your disposal than ever before. The issue is that it might be difficult to analyze, examine, and select the best one depending on your security issues. Businesses also may use fraud detection software and solutions to check user profiles during signup and login. When choosing fraud detection software solutions for business-specific needs, there are a few essential factors to take into consideration.
It will help to instantly accept or deny specific actions depending on the risk factors. Also, tools like device and browser fingerprinting will help you monitor the activity of your IoT system and quickly identify any potential security threats that might arise. From implementing various fraud prevention tools like browser fingerprinting to consolidating your network’s security, there are various steps you can take to protect your business. These tools can help you notice any red flags and stop the cyber attack before it even happens.
Consolidate your network’s security
It is crucial to take all the steps necessary to protect your network and the best way you can do it is by using an up-to-date firewall and not connecting an IoT device directly to your server. Consider this your first line of defense. Not only can this help to stop the cyber-attacks from happening, but most importantly it can stop it from spreading to other devices and causing even more damage. An additional security step would be using a virtual private network (VPN) for your business to ensure all of your data is encrypted.
Monitor and keep track of connected device
It is imperative you are aware of all the IoT devices that come into contact with your network. You should know their type, programming, where they are located, and who uses them so you can notice any discrepancies like a device disappearing from your network or even a new one randomly showing up. By knowing what to expect, it would be easier to notice any changes and stop a cyberattack before it can cause any significant damage.
Update the passwords
A large number of people keep reusing their passwords or choosing something so simple it is easy to crack. For example, 123456 has been one of the most popular passwords for a few years already, and it still appears in more than 23 million passwords. By having a simple password or even reusing it, you are making it easier for cybercriminals to access your account.
Educate your employees
The employees can be the biggest risk in any business as they introduce so many uncontrollable variables into the business operations. While the hardware and software can be controlled, updated, and protected by cyber security tools, the only way you can protect your employees is by educating them. By educating them on how to recognize cyber-attacks and what to do when they suspect they are targeted or even became the victim of an attack you will be able to reduce the risk of cyber-attack coming through them.