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3 Tips for Keeping Your Enterprise Safe in the Era of IoT

Do you ever stop to think about the rate at which the technology around us is evolving? Most people don’t. Technology is so ingrained into our everyday lives that the rapid digital transformation across entire industries goes unnoticed. Perhaps the most destructive, yet the most influential driver of digital transformation in today’s society, is IoT technology.

If we had to guess, you probably own a smartphone. You also probably own an Amazon Echo, FitBit, iRobot Roomba or another smart device. There are billions of IoT devices currently in use across the world, and each enterprise business alone typically has hundreds of connected devices on its IT and OT networks, expanding the potential attack surface and increasing organizational risk.

The vulnerability of IoT devices make them an easy target. Vulnerability often stems from the tendency of devices to have hardware and computational power limitations that don’t allow for built-in security features, not to mention vendors general disregard for security as they race to be first to market. Other connected device weaknesses come from vulnerable basic components, weak passwords and lack of user security awareness.

In 2020, ransomware attacks on IoT devices have increased across the enterprise landscape and attack strategies have become smarter. Without proper management, connected devices can expose networks to attacks and weaken the overall security of an organization. Once an attacker gains access to a network, they can spread malware, initiate large-scale DDoS attacks, target individual devices and open new entry points of an environment to attack critical enterprise functions or extract confidential data.

Now we know what you’re thinking. What if my network is under attack and I don’t even know it?  Don’t let these potential vulnerabilities scare you just yet. With proper security in place, the payoff can be enormous. Here are three tips that can help you secure your organization in the era of IoT:

  1. Auditing: Like the data composing a digital footprint, you can’t protect what you don’t know. Take inventory of the devices used in the company, use proper methodologies to evaluate the IoT ecosystem and test networks to detect potential breaches. The more you understand your enterprise’s IoT ecosystem, the better you can defend it.

    To help with auditing, we recommend our security assessments, pen testing, or full network discoveries and inventory with our NAC solutions, even if you don’t plan on implementing enforcement. We also supplement controls with strategic consulting and vCISO services.
  • Data Encryption: Since most IoT devices don’t come with built-in security functionalities, you can mitigate the chance that attackers gain access to a device by encrypting the shared data. Accessing devices that communicate on the same network is more difficult with end-to-end encryption. Light weight encryptions tools are the best option to handle resource constraints such as memory size, uninterrupted power and program code size.

    Ask us about our enterprise-grade key management technologies, and secure network access control (NAC) with encryption for IoT devices.
  • Isolate IoT Devices: Even the FBI backs this tip. Isolate IoT devices on separate networks from traditional devices, like computers, to reduce the risk of a security breach. Don’t keep important files, classified information or sensitive data on the same system that protects IoT devices. Jumping across two networks will require considerable effort from an attacker and could even slow them down.

    For segmentation, ask for a free consult on micro-segmentation, zero trust networking, or network access control (NAC). We have more than 15 years of successful network security implementations for IoT and custom segmentation needs across all industries.

Carolina Advanced Digital offers a breadth of security solutions to secure IoT, including network access control (NAC), micro-segmentation, dynamic segmentation, and zero trust networking architectures, plus SIEM, UEBA, and log management for threat identification and response. Contact us today to schedule a free call with a team member to discuss your needs.

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