Staying Safe Amongst The Internet of Things
In many ways, the Internet of Things (IoT) is making our lives easier, thanks to its capacity to share information across a host of different connected devices. This is particularly true for educational institutions and businesses that can use the technology to speed up and synthesise many of their administrative processes, for example.
However, as with any technology that promises such benefits, with the Internet of Things (IoT) comes some serious risks. Cyber criminals are already well on their way to finding new and malign tactics to hack into connected devices, which can act as an easy gateway to valuable systems via the Internet of Things (IoT). This is particularly worrying for organisations that are under immense pressure to keep the data of their customers, staff or students safe. So what can be done to ensure cyber security in our hyperconnected world?
Keep devices secure
The first and most obvious thing to do is to protect the devices themselves. Making devices tamper-proof can be an effective way of preventing criminals from reaching data. Companies should also protect vulnerable device features like TCP/UDP ports, web servers where code can be injected, open serial ports, and radio connections. It is also important that devices are upgraded with the requisite security updates and patches as and when needed.
Keep networks secure
It goes without saying that networks should be adequately protected along with connected devices. This means companies should ensure they instate strong user authentication mechanisms to ensure only approved users have access to precious networks and data.
Companies should also stress the importance of strong passwords to staff, using two-factor authentication methods where possible.
As the world becomes increasingly connected, people are waking up to the importance of vigilant data protection. Indeed, connected devices have the capacity to store and transmit very sensitive personal information, which companies have a duty to protect. Those that fail to do so are liable to harsh regulatory penalties, so adequate encryption should become an automatic practice. Comprehensive training in the world of cyber security should also be given to employees that are likely to be handling lots of personal information.
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