The importance of securing and managing IOT devices


The Internet of Things (IoT) is just beginning to change the way we live our lives. From smart homes, remote sensors, and controllable modules to wearable devices, IoT is slowly starting to impact the world around us and ultimately will make our lives easier and more connected.

However, as the number of IoT devices increases, so does the risk of cyberattacks. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of securing and managing IoT devices. 


What are IoT Devices?

IoT devices are physical devices that are connected to the internet and can communicate with other devices. These devices can include anything from smart home appliances to medical devices. IoT devices collect and share data with other devices and systems, and as they are connected to the internet, they are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Many attacks have occurred over the years, impacting Uranium enrichment in Iran (Stuxnet), turning off building heating systems in Finland, hijacking (by researchers) Jeep’s steering and control systems and hacking CCTV systems (Verkada).


Why is IoT Security Important?

IoT devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can lead to serious consequences. These devices can be hacked and controlled remotely, which can lead to data breaches, financial loss, and even physical harm. For example, a hacked medical device can lead to serious health complications for a patient. IoT devices can be high in volume and vast in geographical location, making them very different to traditional IT and Cloud systems where security and device monitoring tools have evolved.


How to Secure and Manage IoT Devices

Securing and managing IoT devices is crucial for protecting your data and privacy. Here are some tips for securing and managing IoT devices:


1. Keep Devices Updated:

It’s important to keep all IoT devices updated with the latest software and security patches. This will help to protect your devices from known vulnerabilities and exploits. 


2. Change Default Passwords:

Many IoT devices come with default passwords that are easy to guess. It’s important to change these passwords to strong and unique passwords to prevent unauthorized access. 


3. Use Strong Encryption:

IoT devices should use strong encryption to protect data in transit and at rest. This will help to prevent data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive information. 


4. Monitor Devices:

Using IoT management and security platforms, like the platform we work with, significantly improves an organisation’s ability to ‘see’ IoT devices, including their status, software version, configuration, security status and network configuration.


5. Limit Access:

Limiting access to IoT devices can help to prevent unauthorized access. Restricting IP address access and locking down ports & protocols to only those needed.


6. Alerting & Logging:

Ensuring you are able to get failed log-on alerts as well as successful ones is critical, central alerts should be set to multiple failed log-on attempts within a specific time window.


7. Set the time:

When doing fault finding, including reviewing log files, you need to ensure all IoT devices have the right time zone and very accurate time, whilst this doesn’t improve security, it helps when looking through log files to know what happened and when. Cirro offers Time as a Service, designed just for this type of application.


Conclusion

Securing and managing IoT devices is crucial for protecting your data, privacy, and safety. As the number of IoT devices continues to grow, it’s important to take steps to secure and manage these devices. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can help to protect your IoT devices and prevent cyberattacks. 

If you find this insightful or want to know more, then get in touch