How to Mitigate Risk in IoT Systems
Whether at home or in business, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become a permanent fixture in people’s lives and are expected to increase their presence and impact in the future. If you consider the growth of smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, HVAC systems, refrigerators, security cameras, and even fitness wearables, you would realize how this world has grown so rapidly and how much it has penetrated into human life.
The development of the IoT comes with a plethora of advantages for the public including greater operations efficiency, improved machine-to-machine communications, instant access to new data points, and many others. However, the widespread adoption of the IoT also resulted in the risks to logical and physical security. Here are some of the most effective methods to mitigate risk in IoT systems.
Compliance with Standardized Security Guidelines
Doors, locks, cameras, sensors, almost all of these widespread physical security controls are now networked in some way, which means additional complexity and more risk. More importantly, as physical security structures age and deteriorate, the risk also increases for interconnected failures across multiple networks, systems, and applications. Although compliance with standard security guidelines is a great start, it should always be supplemented by the other measures on this list. Remember that compliance is the minimum requirement for the protection of data, networks, facilities, and applications.
Choose IoT Solutions with Higher Levels of Built-in Security
Most IoT devices are physically located in remote or non-secure places beyond the normal IT security perimeter, making them more vulnerable to tampering than many other internet- connected devices. Furthermore, a lot of IoT devices are also intended to have long lifecycles (up to 15 years). This means they can become increasingly vulnerable over time if they are not updated. One great way to address these issues is to only use IoT solutions that are already equipped with high levels of built-in security. However, you should also keep in mind that even the strongest locks will not stop a robber if the owner forgets to the apply it.
Turn Off Unused Services
Many IoT devices are equipped with more features and capabilities than an average person or organization will ever need. Although unused features are not exactly more vulnerable than the active ones, they do boost the potential attack surface on an IoT device. To reduce this attack surface, disable all features that are not being used. For example, when it is not being used, you should turn off remote access to the device’s web-based UI. Doing this will reduce the likelihood that hackers can exploit current and future weaknesses that surround this feature.
Monitor Activity with a Management System
Using a management system to track activity offers businesses with better functionality and insights, which also helps them better secure their devices. Cybersecurity is challenging, and the unique issues associated with the IoT make it even harder. Even though it is impossible to make themselves completely secure, businesses should make cybersecurity a top priority and choose IoT solutions with the help of a great management system. Doing so will help them considerably reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.
Another important thing to remember is to constantly update a device’s firmware. These security patches and bug fixes are generally made in response to detecting vulnerabilities in a device – vulnerabilities that are most likely made known to the public or published on the dark web.