Securing your IoT devices: Network security remains more concerned with cybersecurity risks and cyberattacks. Cyber risks are always evolving, and cybercriminals often target businesses of all sizes. Cyberattack damage has a permanent negative impact on a company’s finances and reputation. Cyber attacks put small to mid-sized businesses in even greater peril and can have disastrous results. Because of this, all businesses must guarantee the security of their internal networks and resources.
Securing your IoT devices: Tips for network security
When it comes to network security, ensuring the safety of each and every device also plays a crucial role besides strengthening the network infrastructure and perimeter. For companies to protect business networks and IoT devices, security policies and measures need to be in place. Network Security best practices incorporate ensuring the protection of network security layers on a physical, technical, and administrative level. These include physical hardware security, handling protective software, encryption, enforcing security policies, training staff, and software and device infrastructure alterations.
Best Practices for Network Security
1. Network Security and Infrastructure Audit
Before actually securing the devices within business networks, companies should conduct network infrastructure and security audits to map out the endpoints and their current safety status of them. Visibility and awareness ensure the smooth integration of protective measures and practices. This is especially important for IoT devices within a company
network as cybersecurity risks threaten businesses. Audits help determine the vulnerabilities IoT devices pose as well as other endpoints. According to the documentation and results, administrators can pursue a proper strategy for network security.
2. Network Segmentation
Network segmentation allows companies to separate the business network into sections only accessible to privileged users. By segmenting the network, businesses can secure sensitive data from unauthorized users and open network traffic. Administrators can easily block access of insecure or unauthorized IoT devices to certain network zones. So, insecure devices are separated from applications and data centers. Since IoT devices are susceptible to cybersecurity threats, they must be properly secured and business networks must be segmented for privileged access with trusted devices. With network segmentation, access is only allowed when required to ensure security. Also, segmentation helps reduce the attack surface and restrict lateral movement within the network.
3. Update Antivirus and Antimalware Software
One of the fundamental protection methods includes implementing antivirus and antimalware software. Every connected device must be protected with antivirus and antimalware since they prevent malware from infiltrating devices. Also, updating and patching mentioned software is crucial to secure IoT devices against the most common cybersecurity threats. That’s because unpatched software can be a target for zero-day attacks since the vulnerabilities aren’t fixed. So, updating your antivirus and antimalware in IoT devices prevents cybersecurity threats of malware, viruses, and zero-day attacks from damaging the network.
4. Data Backup and Recovery
It’s only a matter of time before enterprises experience a data breach in an era of rising cybersecurity threats. Now, the question changed from if to when data breaches will occur. Therefore, it is essential for enterprises to back up their data and create a recovery plan. In this sense, all data on every device and endpoint must be backed-up to recover lost data after a breach. Also, instituting a recovery plan enables companies to reduce downtime and restrict costs. Storage locations should be carefully chosen and the recovery plan should be regularly tested since restoring backups can fail. In fact, studies show that companies fail at restoring backed-up data 37 percent of the time.
5. Employ Multi-Factor Authentication
Having a strong password is a requirement for security but it is inadequate most of the time. That’s because passwords are easily guessed or stolen by cybercriminals with various methods. MFA provides a higher level of security to access control in networks. Multi-factor authentication adds two or more security verification steps to enhance network security. Nowadays, IoT devices such as cameras and physical locks also support multi-factor authentication.
6. Monitor IoT Devices Actively
Real-time monitoring of IoT devices is as important as device visibility. Real-time monitoring, reporting, and alerting are considered core components of IoT security to mitigate cybersecurity risks. Monitoring IoT devices actively enables companies to detect any unusual activity and anomalies and prevent potential cyber attacks from damaging the network. While working as a threat detection, monitoring also helps optimize network performance. Additionally, companies can utilize modern network security solutions to track the network traffic of every device and analyze their behavior continuously.
7. Train Employees
Training employees is another crucial step for ensuring network security to keep them informed about the latest security threats, best security practices, and penalties for violations of security policies. One of the biggest reasons behind data breaches is considered human error. That’s why educating employees reduces the risks of potential cyber attacks. Also, keep in mind that training employees requires a proactive effort since cybersecurity threats continue to evolve. In this manner, creating real-life scenarios can be an effective way to impose network security best practices and refresh employees’ knowledge.
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8. Encrypt Sensitive Data
Encryption is an effective way to secure sensitive data against unauthorized access and cyber attacks. Therefore, businesses must encrypt all data and strengthen the encryption protocols around sensitive information. Administrators must continuously assess data classification to deploy proper encryption. Also, businesses must use up-to-date encryption protocols to secure sensitive data more efficiently.
9. Enforce Robust Security Policies
Security policies establish the standards of network security. So, creating robust cybersecurity policies is crucial to specify the best security practices for your business. Also, security policies are the documentation that helps communicate security threats, vulnerabilities, use of specific security tools, security practices, and penalties for violations to employees of the businesses. After all, establishing a foundation of network security helps protect IoT devices in the business network also.
Securing IoT devices is closely related to network security. Therefore, companies need to implement network security best practices and enforce robust security policies to prevent cybersecurity threats and attacks. Don’t forget that cybersecurity requires an ongoing effort as cybersecurity risks continue to advance and threaten companies of all sizes.
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