Smart devices enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) save cost and effort. Users can control them remotely, or they can automatically adjust themselves to the time of day or environment. At the same time, they present risks. Many have poor security. They’re easy to install and forget. It’s hard to notice when malware has infected a device, making it spy on your network or perform actions that could get your site blacklisted.
If you’re aware, you can keep risks to a minimum. Here are some methods that will help:
Keep Track of All Your Devices
You should have a complete inventory of the devices in your network, including models and serial numbers. You need to know why they’re there. If a device isn’t serving a useful purpose any longer, take it out of the network.
Change Default Passwords
Many IoT devices come with default passwords that are public information. Change them before exposing the devices to the Internet. If a device’s password can’t be changed, you need to think hard about whether it’s safe to use.
Limit Network Access
Use firewalls and network configuration to limit the exposure of devices. Don’t give them access to any part of the network they don’t need, especially servers with sensitive information.
Patch Where Possible
While many IoT devices can’t be patched, the better ones can. Keep their software up to date so vulnerabilities won’t stay open.
Monitor Your Network
If there are bursts of traffic you can’t account for, a device on the network may be infected. Find the source and take appropriate action.
Tiny as these devices are, they’re small computers. You need to treat them with the same care as any other computers on the network. Keep them secure, and they won’t cause problems.