It’s easy to overlook the security gaps in IoT when the tech makes your life so much easier. Why bother with the little things when tech can do it for you? Imagine ordering your stove to make a cup of tea for you while you park your car in the garage after a hard day’s work. If that sounds like it’s straight out of a dream, now imagine a world where that same technology connects 20.4 billion devices globally.
Seem unbelievable? Well, that’s the number Gartner has predicted IoT devices will reach by 2020. I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in. Now, are you thinking twice about being so connected? Any of these devices—from home automation devices to your own mobile—can be a weak point and lure hackers out of the shadows. Convenience aside, are you and your team ready to tackle any IoT breach that comes your way?
IoT is making waves on India’s shores
Despite the potential holes in security, IT professionals can all agree that IoT is making waves around the world—and it’s no different for India. Deloitte recently predicted that the number of IoT devices in India will reach 1.9 billion by 2020, boosting the Indian economy with an IoT market worth almost ₹577 billion. The pace toward digitization has already been set: Government-led initiatives, like Digital India and Smart Cities Mission, have left little doubt that IoT will flourish here.
A vibrant IoT startup ecosystem has helped Indian IoT companies receive funding and form a Center of Excellence for IoT to promote the creation of new startups in this technology. But don’t worry—these startups and think tanks are already coming up with ways to keep your networks protected, especially since unsecured IoT devices increase the likelihood of DDoS attacks more and more each year.
Plugging the security gaps in IoT
Improved connectivity should mean better security—that’s non-negotiable. If you’re worried about getting rid of those security gaps in IoT, here’s how to secure your digital assets in this new era:
- Go for data encryption. As IoT becomes the new office norm, it’ll be practically impossible to verify the trustworthiness of every single device attached to your company’s network. The solution? Encrypt the data and enable access only to the company’s network of devices and individuals.
- Test the vulnerability levels of your systems by hiring ethical hackers. This is definitely not a conventional method, but it just may be the best way to zero-in on the security hole. Hiring an ethical hacker to test the security structure of your office is the most effective way to see if your systems can withstand a sustained cyber attack. If the hacker can access your data, you’ll know that your security needs a boost—fast.
- Promote cybersecurity throughout the workforce. It’s just human nature to ignore or forget those pesky basic security measures, like updating your software regularly, changing passwords routinely, setting different passwords for different sites, and even monitoring your printer security. The trick? Don’t assume your workforce is taking these simple security steps, let alone anything more advanced. Build a culture of security within your office to make sure everyone’s paying attention to those easy security basics all day, every day.
- Educate yourself continuously. So, you have everyone up-to-date with their basic security checks. You still need to keep up with the latest and greatest security features. The one constant in tech is that it’s always changing. Take a proactive approach to security, and your office will be in good hands.
- Do away with the easy-to-guess password. Predictable passwords have no chance against today’s hackers. They’re possibly the biggest threats to the security of IoT devices. Go all out on those special characters, cases, and numbers, and set a password that’s completely unique. While you’re at it, remember to change your password every 90 days.
In case of a breach . . .
. . . be ready for anything. Always backup your data, and know ahead of time the steps for data recovery so your systems can reboot without disrupting your business. No one wants to lose time and profits in the process of fixing a security breach, so investing in a real-time backup solution is a smart strategy.
IoT will transform the way we live and work, so don’t let security issues rain on your parade. Be open to the new technology—after all, it’s finding its way into every aspect of your life—but make sure you play it safe.