How to Ensure the Security of IoT Devices Used in Your Solutions

by Jones David

It doesn’t matter what type of IoT solution is under consideration; the security of connected systems and devices should be one of the highest priorities for developers and users. Unfortunately, even today, when tech progress has reached an unbelievable level and is still gaining momentum, solutions powered by the Internet of Things technologies remain easy prey for hackers and fraudsters who want access to valuable, sensitive data.

According to recent studies, nearly 70% of companies that have IoT-based systems have suffered from cyberattacks during the past years. And experts notify that this figure has a high chance to continue growing. The reason behind it is simple. In the future, hackers will be able to find more sophisticated ways to compromise such solutions as they get more and more familiar with IoT tech.

Given the growing requirements for the functionality and capacities of solutions that are being introduced to the market these days, the complexity of networks and the number of connected devices is increasing. This tendency can be detected in the solutions created by many software development companies, including new IoT apps by Cogniteq.

That’s why, for developers, it is of crucial importance to find efficient ways to minimize the risks and enhance the protection of IoT-powered networks. While some of these approaches are relatively simple, others are more complicated, but they can ensure a higher level of security.

Below you can find some of the most widely applied ways to protect your IoT devices. Let’s start with the easiest (and maybe the most obvious) ones.

Tip 1. Say “no” to default passwords

To ensure that your IoT devices will stay safe, change all names and passwords set by default to some others. Individually set passwords will guarantee more robust protection. Moreover, changing passwords at least once in 1-3 months is highly recommended. Of course, it is clear that when you have a vast IoT network with dozens of devices, it can be tough to remember all passwords and create unique ones each time when you need to change them. In this case, using a password manager will be an excellent idea. Thanks to using this tool, you will be able to avoid similar passwords.

Tip 2. Do not ignore the capacities of MFA

MFA is an abbreviation for “multi-factor authentication” that will help you if your password is inefficient. There can be different ways to authenticate users’ identities. The simplest ones include, for example, text messages with a unique code sent to the previously indicated phone number. We can refer to biometrics tools, geolocation verification, or physical keys, such as USB sticks, in the category of more sophisticated MFA approaches. 

Tip 3. Use connection encryption

While the word combination “connection encryption” may sound somewhat mysterious, there aren’t any real mysteries. Moreover, it is pretty simple. One of the best ways to do it is to use a VPN intended to change your device’s IP address and encrypt all data that can leave it. As a result, you will have an additional level of protection. It is recommended to use VPN  services not only for protecting IoT systems but also for protecting your smartphones and other mobile devices when connected to public WiFi networks.

Tip 4. Bear in mind that your software should be timely updated

Many people believe that you have new interfaces and features when you update your apps and operating systems. But updates offer much more than that. In recent versions of their software products, developers always try to eliminate old bugs that can cause security vulnerabilities. If you forget and do not want to update the software on your devices, you should be ready to face such situations when hackers will attack your network.

Tip 5. Make sure that you use a secure internet connection

The majority of hacks take place when we use an unprotected network connection. That’s why start with your router. It should be secured, so it won’t let hackers exploit your system. How can you do it? Start with the most manageable steps. Change the network name initially set by default, choose a new admin username, and, of course, do not ignore the need to change your password regularly.

Also, we recommend you use a router that supports a high encryption level for protecting the data exchange. Today, WPA2 encryption is considered to be the most efficient one.

Tip 6. Introduce network segmentation

Have you heard the phrase “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket”? It means that you shouldn’t concentrate all your resources in one area; otherwise, you have a very high chance of losing everything you have. In the case of your IoT system, the situation is quite similar. To avoid these risks, you can split your network into sub-networks. That’s precisely what network segmentation means. The segments should stay isolated, though their communication can be allowed. If components function as separate units, even when attackers reach one of your segments, all others will remain safe and continue functioning. As a result, the impact of a cyberattack will be minimized, and it will be easier for you to deal with the consequences of the caused damages. 

Tip 7. Pay special attention to the flexibility of your network

When working on creating your IoT system, you should think about its future flexibility and scalability. Your plan should be ready for it from the very beginning. You should be prepared to scale your IoT solution when your business grows and expands. When you have a flexible solution, it is easier to ensure sufficient protection in the future.

Instead of a closing word

As you see, the methods offered for protecting your IoT devices have different levels of complexity. The same is true about their efficiency. Nevertheless, to increase the security of your devices, it will be sensible to introduce more than one protection measure. That’s why we advise you to attentively analyze all the tips we’ve provided above and choose those that will perfectly suit your case depending on the specificity of your IoT network.

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