IoT devices have ingrained themselves into almost every aspect of modern life. From home assistants to industrial machinery, it’s hard to find a device that isn’t connected to a network and gathering data. Despite widespread adoption, IoT cybersecurity compliance remains surprisingly low.
A big reason for this is the unique challenges IoT devices pose to operators. While these devices need top-notch network security, they also have a hardware component that is tough to secure. This twin approach often results in traditional cybersecurity solutions falling short, causing non-compliance.
Here are three ways to ensure your IoT devices are always safe.
Get the basics right
IoT cybersecurity compliance is complex, but it begins with getting the basics right. Does your network have a firewall? Are you monitoring identities accessing your network? Do you have multi-factor authentication in place?
These measures don’t guarantee IoT security by themselves, but they go a long way toward securing your network. They’re also a good base from which you can layer additional security.
For instance, endpoint detection and response (EDR) platforms are a great way to secure your network, monitor traffic, and execute corrective action in case of a breach.
EDRs also integrate well with other solutions, giving you a good base for holistic security. Some of the more common, and often overlooked, basics are anti-malware, spam blocking, and antivirus software. These might be basic protection in this age of AI-driven cyberattacks, but they are still essential to any strong cybersecurity posture.
Install strong authentication
Authentication processes ensure you keep unwanted actors away from your network. These processes are especially relevant for IoT devices since they live on the network 24/7. The good news is that installing strong authentication measures is relatively simple.
The first step is to install multi-factor authentication (MFA) that needs at least two security inputs from a user to receive access. The addition of a second device in MFA reduces the chances of an attacker gaining access to your network.
Companies with significant infrastructure sprawl must install an API-based solution that secures disparate servers and locations. By centralizing key handling to such tools, companies can automate certificate renewals and identity verifications.
This gives security teams more time to attend to complex issues instead of chasing every false positive a tool might throw up. An automated tool also helps you incorporate agile security practices that secure your network.
For instance, combining continuous security monitoring with an API-based tool is simple and gives you a well-rounded security posture. Continuous monitoring tools constantly test your systems for vulnerabilities, helping you stay ahead of the curve.
Leveraging public-private key infrastructure is a critical authentication component in IoT security.
This is a cryptographic security system and works by authenticating access at two levels. Any entity wishing to access the network has to provide the public key followed by a private key authentication.
Public-private key infrastructure automates IoT security and secures your devices at all times. Your devices will only grant access to entities possessing both keys, ensuring malicious actors stay away.
When combined with continuous monitoring and basic malware protection, your devices are highly protected at all times.
Automate device monitoring
IoT security has a hardware component, an area where many companies fall short. Compromising an IoT device can result in attackers moving laterally through your network easily.
This is why confirming the device’s identity and keys before allowing it network access is critical.
Installing an automated device monitoring program is also a good step to ensuring your IoT network remains safe. Automated tools monitor device activity and can quickly spot abnormal behavior. IoT devices send reams of data, so manually parsing them for patterns is a hopeless task.
An automated tool can quickly alert relevant teams about a potential breach, helping you contain damage quickly. You can suspend the device’s access to your network automatically once abnormal behavior occurs, containing potential damage to just that device.
Most device monitoring platforms also have analytics that helps you benchmark device activity and spot potentially problematic trends. For instance, a device might show warning signs of failure just before it.
An analytics platform will help you spot those signs and initiate action before things get serious. An analytics platform also makes life easy for your security team. They can screen for patterns in your data and back their decisions with analytics.
This process prevents them from chasing false positives, giving them more time for value-added work. The result is a stronger IoT security posture that repels almost every attack thrown at it.
IoT security is paramount
IoT devices are everywhere in modern companies and securing them is a complex task. However, the tips in this article will help you narrow down your processes and secure your IoT networks and devices, helping you maintain a strong security posture at all times.