It seems that everything is connected these days. Watches are connected to computers, thermostats are connected to the cloud, vehicles are connected to GPS… and so on. All of these fall into what’s collectively known as the Internet of Things, though they’re also often called smart devices. While these devices have enabled us to take a leap forward with innovation, they also bring up some valid security concerns. Has your business jumped on this new trend of smart devices? Do you know how to keep you and your employees safe while using these devices? Do you have everything secured so you’re not providing hackers a back door into your network? Here are some tips to help:
Know What You’re Buying
There are so many choices of devices to buy when you want to incorporate the Internet of Things that many business owners simply begin buying items without doing much research. It’s important to be fully aware of how your new devices are connected and the security issues involved. You may benefit from having one tech-savvy employee on your team to be in charge of research and purchasing of smart devices. This can be your go-to person when you have a question or are considering a new acquisition. You can also make sure this person is up-to-date on the latest news and training.
Choose Passwords Carefully
Having duplicate or simplistic passwords is a major reason why devices are easily breached. You may think that a strong password on a printer or watch is unnecessary, but it’s extremely important for security. If one device is breached, your network becomes vulnerable, especially if you’re using the same password for multiple gadgets. If you need help storing and retrieving unique passwords, there are plenty of programs available.
Have a Policy for Personal Devices
Do your employees bring in their own personal devices and connect them to your network? They could be opening your network to major security risks. Make sure you have a policy in place that states which devices your employees are allowed to bring to work. Further state which can or cannot be connected to the office network and any rules they need to abide by.
Continuously Monitor Your System
Do you consistently monitor your system for breaches? Though you can secure your network with unique, strong passwords and amp up security by researching what you’re buying, you can never protect against everything. When you monitor your system 24/7, you can identify red flags or suspicious behavior as soon as it happens and mitigate them.
Work with a Cyber Security Professional
With the constantly-changing landscape of online threats, it’s nearly impossible for the average business owner or in-house IT team to keep up. Working with a company that specializes in cyber security ensures that you’ll be aware of all current areas of concern. A cyber professional can also test your system for weaknesses, suggest upgrades, protective software or overhauls, and monitor your system for possible threats.
Incorporating the Internet of Things into your business helps you keep up with the times and indicates to your employees and your customers that you’re on the cutting-edge of technology. However, without the proper security measures, it could also spell the end of your business. Make sure you educate yourself and your team about the devices that are being brought into the business. Have a policy in place that employees must follow. Most importantly, consider working with a cyber professional whose job it is to keep up on current threats and secure your network against them. This ensures that your business will benefit from the technology without experiencing the potentially devastating side effects.