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5 Tips for IoT Device Security

By June 17, 2020 News

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are tools that utilize remote connections and sensors to automate functions, and are increasingly becoming a ubiquitous part of modern offices. However, when not managed properly, IoT machines – for both private and industrial (IIoT) usage – can create gaps in your cybersecurity that cybercriminals can exploit. Make sure that these devices don’t become entry points for hackers into your network with the following tips:

Set Strong Passwords for All IoT Devices

Many users fail to realize that they can set passwords for IoT devices. Failing to do so makes these gadgets easier to hack. You have to make sure to create strong passwords for each device — preferably with a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols — and also put a smart and proactive password policy in place. Make use of all security options at your disposal, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) for added layers of cybersecurity and regular password resets.

Disable Universal Plug and Play and Monitor Connections

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) helps IoT gadgets discover and connect with other network devices. However, this feature can also be exploited as a gateway for hackers to infiltrate your devices and network. To prevent this, disable this feature on all connected devices immediately, and continue to monitor any active on your network to ensure nothing provides a bridge for outside connections.

Create a Separate IoT Network

It’s a good idea to keep your IoT devices connected to a network separate from your main office network. This way, gadgets can connect to the internet, but won’t have access to mission-critical files and shared cloud servers. Hackers routinely exploit overextended networks where device volume can create several unnoticed backdoors.

You can also invest in device access management tools. These allow you to control which devices can access what data, and prevent unauthorized access from outside – or inside – the network.

Update Your Firmware for All Devices

You need to keep your software up to date if you want to secure your devices against cyberattacks. Legacy applications run the risk of being undefended against newer hacking techniques and existing bugs that can grant access outside the network. Manufacturers regularly release patches for the latest of these vulnerabilities, so make it a habit to check and install IoT firmware updates regularly.

If you have several devices, use patch management software to automate patch distribution and schedule regular updates.

Unplug IoT Devices After Use

Simply disconnecting your IoT devices or turning them off when not in use can significantly reduce your vulnerability to cyberattacks. It removes potential entry points into your network and minimizes the chances of unauthorized access to your network.

Contact SWK to Enhance Your IoT Security

With the advent of IoT devices in homes and offices, hackers also developed more cunning ways to exploit them. Adopting the abovementioned security habits can prevent a variety of cyber attacks through IoT backdoors, but don’t be afraid to seek additional support to help keep an eye on your devices without overwhelming your staff.

Contact SWK Technologies to learn how we can help you cybersecure your IoT devices and networks around the clock and without disrupting your business.