Top practical tips for reducing IoT security risks
Although IoT comes with tons of benefits such as improved business inventory, better health treatments, and other amazing benefits, it nevertheless has its own share of security risks, just like any other Internet-based innovation.
Rather than fold your hands and watch as your vulnerability to security attacks increases, some practical tips can help you reduce your IoT security risks. A few of these tips are:
- Use firewall: Rather than depending on router as the only security measure for your IoT, you can use better security measures such as UTM or NGFW (Next-generation Firewall) to boost your security. These firewalls can provide the best protection between your device and the Internet, thereby reducing your risk level.
- Use unique and complex password for your devices: Your devices may come with default passwords. Some people fail to reset these passwords before connecting them to other devices. That’s wrong and will increase your vulnerability as those default passwords can easily be broken by hackers. So, for each device you connect to your IoT, choose unique and complex passwords that hackers will have a hard time breaking. The rule of thumb is to use alphanumeric passwords that are long and contain special characters. Don’t forget to always change your password frequently. Even if a breach is ongoing, a change of password will render the efforts of any hacker futile. That’s how you can keep hackers out.
- Use a VPN: You can also beef up your security with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). With a VPN, access to your network will be strictly by verified devices. This will reduce unverified devices from accessing your network. That will prevent you from falling victim to hacking with its dire implications.
- Update your software: Each of your devices has its software. Whenever you want to connect a device, make sure that it has the most current software version. That increases your security. Otherwise, try to update any obsolete software before connecting a device to your network. This is necessary because as vulnerabilities are detected in old software versions, developers correct such vulnerabilities in new version in addition to adding some new security measures.
- Disable unneeded features: If any of your devices comes with some unneeded features, disable such features immediately. For instance, some IoT device manufacturers may pack a TV with some extra features such as voice-recognition software or cameras. Do you really need such extra features in your TV? If you don’t, disable it promptly. Hackers find it easier to hack such features and breach your privacy.
- Use a distinct local network for you IoT devices: If you use a segmented network for your devices, it is a good way to be in control of the situation if a device is breached. You may, therefore, try to establish a network that is primarily dedicated to IoT only. A better alternative is to cut off IoT devices’ access to your network unless if such connection is absolutely necessary.
While it may be difficult to completely eliminate IoT security risks, these measures will reduce your vulnerability to attacks drastically. Take a step today to save your home or business from IoT security breaches.