Tech News

How the IoT Can Be a Security Risk

By June 8th, 2020No Comments

The Internet of Things is literally about the interconnectivity of the “things” we use in our every day lives (phones, gaming consoles, vehicular computers, smart fridges, etc). An obvious assumption should be that the more devices accessing a network, the more risk will be associated with that network, which is where the inherent risk of the Internet of Things comes into play. How can you control the number of devices accessing your network, and thus secure your business from the Internet of Things?

Understanding why security is such an issue for Internet of Things devices is critical to keeping your business secure from those very devices. We at ActiveCo feel it’s imperative to know when your network is being accessed by so many devices, the reason behind their use and how business-critical it’s application may be. If it’s purely for convenience or comfort, we may open a conversation to help you decide if this should be on your network at all. This may not be a popular conversation to have but it’s most certainly a necessary one!

Too Many Devices
The issue with these devices is that they are often those that you wouldn’t expect to traditionally have such connectivity. For example, you might not immediately think of cars, kitchen appliances, watches, or thermostats to have such functionality. These can be difficult to plan for if you’re not careful.

When you consider how many devices now have connectivity, you realize that fears regarding the Internet of Things are justified. You should organize your business’ security by imagining what you would do in a worst-case scenario, in which at least one of these devices makes it past your organization’s defenses. All it takes is a single weakness to bring down an entire network.

…and there are signals everywhere
 

We feel there is much to consider and would be open to fielding your questions on IOT items, as they have gained in popularity to the point where keeping track is not an intuitive part of your business process. Here are some final thoughts to keep in mind, and consider, before giving ActiveCo a call:

Patches and Updates
With more devices accessing a network, chances are that at least one of them won’t be up to date with its security patches. The incredible vastness of the Internet of Things all but guarantees that at least one of these devices is going to be out of date, placing your organization at risk.

Obsolescence
To make things even worse, some Internet of Things devices are created based off a trend that could very well be obsolete soon afterward, meaning that developers might not see the need to support the device beyond that timeframe. For example, if a device sells poorly and was created only to meet a specific need in the industry at the time, the developer may choose not to support it anymore as the investment simply isn’t worth the return.

Business Process
Even if you can’t control the devices of others, you can control the ones that access your organization’s sensitive data. You can start by taking a look at the specific permissions of your business’ users and their devices. A good practice is to never give employees access to information that they don’t need to do their jobs properly. After all, the more people who can access data, the more likely that a device could be compromised and expose that data to threats.

The final word? ActiveCo Technology Management can help your business manage devices and access control on its network. To discuss, reach out to us at (604) 425-3433.

Related Article:

Why a Major Internet of Things Security Breach is Inevitable

Jeff Penner

Jeff Penner

Jeff has been in the managed services industry since 2015, understanding what business owners are looking for from technology, and helping them find it. The most important element for a business owner taking on a new technology partner is peace of mind and thus Jeff directs his efforts on finding practical information that any leader can apply to their business. Jeff lives in Vancouver, BC, sharing his love for learning and “the great indoors” with his 2 daughters.