24 May

A CEO’s Guide to IoT Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly becoming a mainstream addition to every household, and that has also translated to the workplace.

IoT is no longer limited to smart speakers and automated coffee machines. Now, nearly everything in your office can be connected through a wireless network connection.

Having a smart office can be an instrumental tool for your business, but it’s important to understand the risks involved. Optimize performance while keeping your data secure by following these IoT security guidelines.

 

Establish Goals and IoT Strategy

 

If you don’t already have a smart office but want to integrate the IoT into your workplace, consider what you want to accomplish. Before you can understand how to keep your information secure, figuring out how you want your business to operate and grow with IoT-enabled devices will help you determine what you need to focus on.

This is also true for anyone who already actively uses smart devices. How are you using this equipment, and what information are you allowing to pass through? If you only want to remotely control your office’s thermostat and coffee machine, you’ll face different risks than an office that is completely interconnected.

Consider what you want to achieve by rolling out a smart office, and which devices you plan to use to reach your goals. All devices should be treated differently, and building a clear-cut action plan is the easiest way to develop an effective IoT security strategy.

 

Determine Risk

 

One of the first steps to a successful IoT data security plan is to identify potential vulnerabilities and risk factors. How is your information being transmitted, and what weaknesses might be present?

There are a variety of potential entry points for attackers, and some are more obvious than others. Can employees use their devices on unsecured networks? Is your workplace BYOD (bring your own device), or do you only allow your personnel to use equipment that’s provided by the company?

Anything from unencrypted correspondence to unsecure USB-connected devices can serve as an entry point for malicious activity.

Utilizing a mobile monitoring program is one way to mitigate this risk. But, even with a top-notch enterprise mobility system, it’s crucial for an IoT-enabled office to be aware of how these devices are being used to send and receive sensitive information.

 

Secure Devices and Information

 

After you’ve assessed your equipment and connectivity strategy, take measures to protect your proprietary company data.

Utilizing an enterprise mobility system can help dramatically with office-wide device security and analysis. This is especially important if you allow employees to work remotely or take their equipment offsite. With a smart office, it’s imperative to ensure that your devices are equipped with exceptional endpoint security.

End-to-end encryption, employee monitoring, and a high-capacity internal screening program can greatly reduce the chance that your information will be intercepted. This also protects you from internal unauthorized activity, allowing you to stay ahead of potential attacks.

IoT Security

Keep Employees Informed

 

If you want to integrate smart devices into your workplace, make sure that employees understand how to properly use them.

Routinely educate employees about information security best practices and how to appropriately handle their devices. Clearly communicating office guidelines can ensure that everyone is aware of the risks involved, and how to prevent data misuse.

Keeping your workforce proactive and engaged, as well as employing a mobile security system, will help you build a well-rounded defense plan.

 

Understand That No Device is Too Small

 

You might not be worried about the coffee warmer on your developer’s desk, but even auxiliary accessories could be a security risk if they’re connected to company computers.

The more you know about the devices your employees are using, the better. Knowing the origin of popular accessories can give you an idea about the level of risk your office could be facing. With a little research, you can learn a lot about unauthorized users could potentially gain access to sensitive information.

USB ports, for example, are one simple tool that is often overlooked. Many accessories use a USB port as a power source, making it easy to forget that data could be transferred to or from these devices.

 

Enforce Device Authentication

 

Whether you choose to use biometric technology, two-factor identification, or digital certificates, make sure that you know who is using devices that are connected to your company network.

Confirming that your information is only being accessed by authorized parties can be one of your strongest defenses against data breaches and misuse.

Password protection, controlled access, and mobile monitoring can help you secure your devices by overseeing who is able to use them.

IoT Security

Use Proactive Problem Solving

 

If you find that your information has been compromised, don’t panic.

It’s true that IoT can allow your network to be exposed to additional risks. But, handling any infiltrations or malicious activity with a targeted approach can help you to protect your data while strengthening your company’s digital defense protocol.

Even before you believe your information has been compromised, stay up-to-date on data security best practices. Employ regular software updates, perform hardware reviews, and utilize a top-notch data scanning program to oversee downloads, installations, and access points across all connected devices.

If you want to develop an IoT strategy for your company, information protection and security needs to be the primary point of focus. The use of internet-accessing devices is expected to nearly double in the next two years, and the IoT can be an indispensable tool for the growth of your business.

The Internet of Things can simplify many of your day-to-day processes, improve workflow, and increase productivity. But, it can also leave your information vulnerable if you don’t take the proper measures to protect it. Make sure your workplace is safeguarded against attackers, data breaches, and information misuse by considering these tips for your IoT-enabled office.