IoT security risks shown by dark door ajar

Is the Backdoor to Your Business Unlocked?

Your Business May be Vulnerable from a Hidden Cyber Threat

Did you know a staggering 54% of organizations face attempted cyberattacks on internet-connected devices (IoT) every single week? These aren’t just your computers and servers—they’re your Wi-Fi components, cameras, printers, Bluetooth speakers, Alexa devices, cell phones, even fax machines. With the number of IoT devices projected to explode to over 207 billion by the end of the year, you need to make sure your business is properly protected today. 

The Internet is Using You 

You use the Internet for work and personal reasons every day, but have you stopped to consider the Internet uses you in return? Yes, that’s right, you use the Internet, and it uses you.

Before you wave off the thought, take stock of the numerous internet-connected devices that populate your personal and professional life—any one of them might be hiding a cyber thief you can’t see. But they can certainly see you. 

Every device connected to your network uses the Internet. And every one of these devices poses a potential risk to cyberattacks.

Many companies, especially smaller businesses, might not even realize how many devices are connected to their network. This creates a security blind spot (like an unlocked backdoor) that cybercriminals can exploit to steal your valuable data and disrupt your operations. 

The Point of Entry for Hackers is Only Increasing with IoT

With the continual rise in remote work and learning environments, more and more IoT devices are being utilized to streamline efficient workflows. While these devices offer convenience and automation, they introduce new security vulnerabilities to your network. 

These vulnerabilities can stem from weak default passwords, outdated firmware, or a lack of encryption. Hackers can exploit these weaknesses to gain access to your network, steal sensitive data, and disrupt your operations. 

For example, you may remember hearing about the cyberattack that targeted an unsecured, Internet-connected fish tank in a North American casino. Hackers gained access to the casino’s network through the fish tank and stole 10 gigabytes of data. Malicious actors can be extremely resourceful. 

Your data is valuable and needs to be protected. An unsecured security camera (or fish tank!) can be exploited by hackers to gain access to your entire system, costing you downtime, lost productivity, and potentially millions in damages. 

Take Steps to Secure Your Network 

Set up some time with your MSP or IT partner to discuss your current network security measures in place. As the landscape of cybersecurity is constantly evolving, this is something you should be doing regularly. In the meantime, here are some tips for securing your network and data: 

  • Remove Admin level from your standard user PC accounts. Your users might think they need it, but they don’t in a properly managed network.
  • Update Device Firmware regularly. Just like your computers, ensure all your IoT devices have the latest firmware updates to patch vulnerabilities. You’d be shocked to learn how many people update their PC operating system but forget about everything else on the network.
  • Segment your Network. Isolate IoT devices from critical systems on your network to limit the potential damage if one device is compromised.
  • Deploy Advanced Security Solutions. Deploy Endpoint Detection Response (EDR), Managed Detection Response (MDR), and Cybersecurity Awareness Training for all users. If you don’t recognize any of these terms or know what they entail, ask your MSP provider about them. They are becoming the new baseline for protecting your business.
  • Educate your Employees. As mentioned above, teach your employees how to identify potential threats and red flags, including suspicious activity on the network such as unexpected login attempts or unusual device behavior, and also teach them how to properly handle and report these situations.
  • Enforce Strong Password Policies. Change default passwords on all devices and enforce strong, unique passwords for each device. Also, ensure everyone is using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for any of their devices and accounts.

You’re not going to become a security expert from a simple blog, but our hope is to get you more secure and to give you the talking points to make sure your internal IT staff or MSP is doing everything they should for you. 

Ask what protections you have in place.

Ask if they’re the right protections for your type of business and data.

If you’re confident without asking, make sure you know why you’re confident.

cybersecurity webinar June 2024 about IoT security risks

Want to hear more about IoT security risks, AI, and the current state of cybersecurity? Click the image to join our upcoming panel discussion on cybersecurity.

Because assuming or guessing will only hurt your business. Ask all your questions so you can be certain. As someone on our team always loves to say, “Trust. But verify.”

Work with a Trusted Cybersecurity Provider 

The phrase “Hope is not a strategy” applies to managing IT security. It is essential to secure your network proactively before cyber intruders find certainty in their ability to compromise it. 

There is quite a bit you can do on your own, mostly by being vigilant and encouraging your team to be your strongest line of defense. But to create a truly secure network, you should work with an MSP or IT security expert to ensure the best protections and practices are in place. 

Even if you already have an IT partner, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion on your MSP security set up. We’re happy to discuss how we can properly protect you and identify any gaps in your security protection. 

Go to our Network Solutions page to learn how we can help you and your business. 

 

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