The Internet of Things, which includes any object or computing device that connects to the internet, is growing fast and providing unique security challenges for businesses. In fact, it’s reported that 43 percent of businesses use IoT, with the number of connected devices expected to reach 13.5 billion by 2020.
These devices provide businesses with new capabilities, as they perform tasks and gather data they couldn’t in the past. Yet there are some security concerns, especially in the business environment.
A large number of IoT-enabled devices are left completely unsecured, which creates optimal conditions for cyber-criminals. But what are these risks, and how do they affect your business?
Check out a few of the common vulnerabilities:
Out-of-date security. When your desktop, smartphone or tablet requires a security update or a patch, the device alerts you. The appropriate update or patch is quickly installed without much effort on your part. But this isn’t always the case with the IoT, which can leave you vulnerable to attack.
Lack of encrypted communication. Many IoT devices aren’t encrypting communication, which creates a significant concern in the business environment and could put data at risk.
Difficulty detecting intrusions. Currently, most IoT devices don’t have the technology in place to know that an intrusion has occurred. As a result, device owners don’t realize their IoT device has become an entry point for a cyber attack.
Weak or ineffective passwords. Most people don’t think of their device as posing a security threat, so they are relaxed about changing the default password and continuing to change the password in the future for additional security. But not being diligent about IoT passwords provides an easy way for cyber-criminals to get access to these devices.
The best way for businesses to minimize this vulnerability is to make sure that any IoT devices used in the workplace are purchased from manufacturers that have the strongest security safeguards. Employees should change default passwords and continue to change those passwords with the same regularity as they do for their other work devices.
Cyber-criminals are always looking for that next big vulnerability, and with the proper safeguards in place, you can prevent them from making IoT-enabled devices on your network the target.