The Internet of Things (IoT) has proven to create new business opportunities globally and is steadily on the CIO agenda for profitability. However, it has also proved unsafe of just prove to security attacks as was pointed out during the 2019 regional CIO100 Symposium and Awards in Naivasha, Kenya.
Presenting on the best practices to secure IoT devices, Sean Mayos, the Regional Sales Manager in Africa for nCipher Security noted that hackers can get their hands on IoT devices given the chance to breach such networks.
He elaborated some precautions to take while protecting the IoT devices.
- Disable Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) – the UPnP as a feature helps IoT gadgets discover and connect to other network devices but it also serves as a gateway for hackers to infiltrate such devices and network. To prevent this, Mayos advised that the feature be disabled.
- Create a separate network – It is generally a good idea to keep IoT devices connected to their own network that is separate from the main office network. This way, gadgets can connect to the internet but won’t have access to mission-critical files.
“You can invest in device access management tools to allow you control over which devices to access what data thus preventing unauthorized access.” Sean Mayos.
- Unplug – disconnecting devices or turning them off when not in use can significantly reduce the vulnerability to cyberattacks as it removes potential entry points into the network and minimizes the chances of unauthorized access thereof.
“With the advent of IoT devices in homes and offices, hackers have developed more cunning ways to exploit them, calling for internet hygiene that among other practices involves disconnecting devices not in use,” added Mayos.
- Set Passwords – Not many people know they can set passwords for IoT devices, making their gadgets prone to attacks. Be sure to set new and strong passwords or pass-phreses as Martin Kioko, the Channel Manager at Weston Comstor terms it. Then, use a password/ pass-phrase manager to keep track of all passwords.
“Adopting the above mentioned security habits can prevent a variety of IoT attacks, but if need be, please visit nCipher Security for robust security solutions to keep your hardware and systems safe,” Mayos concluded.
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