The number of devices connected to the internet and among themselves is increasing. In homes, for example, cell phones connect to routers, which talk to TV and media devices. Electronic locks, surveillance systems and many others are already a reality in our country.
According to a Gartner report, the forecast is that by 2020 there will already be more than 20 billion connected devices.
With so many “things” connected, the security challenges become immense. How to protect these devices? Is there a way to prevent these from being used as vectors of attacks that cause damage to companies and people?
Industry 4.0 also suffers from the impacts of security breaches. Today, a good part of the equipment present in the industries is connected to the internet, enabling a series of facilities for the management and control of these devices. How to prevent, then, that a security breach puts the operation of this equipment at risk?
In this blog post we will bring basic guidelines about good practices for IoT security, so that technology professionals minimize the risks associated with the use of this technology in companies of the most varied sizes and segments. Read on!
Why are IoT devices more vulnerable?
This is one of the great doubts of professionals who use this type of technology in their structures. The reason why IoT products are substantially more vulnerable is linked to the architecture used for their development. Most of the time, these are devices with very limited physical resources (processing, memory, etc.), which prevent the implementation of security mechanisms in their structures.
Therefore, when using products with these characteristics, the application of security devices is highly recommended to minimize the success and impact of attacks aimed at exploiting vulnerabilities present in these devices.
Practical tips for securing IoT devices
Knowing the security limitations that exist in these devices, it is possible to suggest some basic tips to protect corporate networks that are often also used to traffic information from these devices.
Purchase certified devices
One of the neglected points during the purchase of IoT devices, is the purchase motivated by the price. It is highly relevant that professionals also evaluate minimum levels of adequacy of these devices to RFCs, or some other type of standardization existing in the market. It is also important to evaluate brands that have nohall in the development of this type of technology to minimize the risks associated with the use of low-quality devices, therefore more susceptible to vulnerabilities.
Maps all IoT devices
It is essential that every IoT devices used in the company’s daily routine are mapped and properly controlled by specialized tools. Having knowledge about all devices is the best way to guarantee the security of the corporate network. Therefore, it is important that technology professionals make efforts to prevent IoT devices from being inserted into the company without prior approval.
Physically isolate these devices
This is a good security practice that should also be applied to networks that traffic data from IoT devices. It is indicated that specific networks are established to connect the IoT devices, being physically isolated from the company’s administrative network. This type of attitude prevents the malicious user from gaining access to computers and other assets that are connected to the corporate network in the event of an IoT device being compromised.
There are specific network designs to specifically connect IoT devices, however, most of them still use the same network and internet used in organizations.
Establish IoT device-specific security policies
It is important to know the purpose of each IoT device and to implement specific control policies for each case. It is possible to exemplify, using the scenario of a hospital that has resonance equipment, whose maintenance is performed remotely by professionals in Germany. This equipment has internet connectivity, with the purpose of sending reports to the manufacturer and also interventions aimed at maintaining the equipment.
This is a very common scenario in day-to-day hospitals, however it inspires care, such as ensuring secure remote access to the equipment manufacturer, using a VPN feature. Another possibility is to restrict the equipment’s communication with the internet to the minimum necessary levels. Among other alternatives to minimize the chances of this equipment being compromised in attempts of virtual attacks.
Keep your IoT device always up to date
Attacks usually occur due to exploitation of flaws present in the software layer of IoT devices. When this happens, developers typically offer fixes to prevent their products from being compromised. Therefore, never fail to apply the updates suggested by the manufacturers. Updates prevent attacks from exploiting known and fixed vulnerabilities.
Use security solutions to protect your corporate network
There are several hardware and software that can work together to ensure an extra layer of protection for corporate networks, preventing attacks focused on IoT devices from taking greater proportions on the corporate network.
UTM Firewall solutions are good options to start the process of shielding corporate networks that have IoT devices connected to their structure.
In addition, if necessary, talk to the OSTEC team of experts. Our professionals are available to answer your questions about the use of specialized software and hardware for digital security and Internet of Things (IoT).