Internet of Things (IoT) devices may seem harmless, but can actually pose a serious threat to the privacy and security of your business data. Think your existing security protocols are sufficient to handle the threat? Think again. To protect against IoT security threats, start by admitting that you have a problem and addressing these five important steps.

Stage 1 — Denial

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Security teams assume that they have complete control over their environment and network. But in reality, more than 55% of security professionals can’t even see IoT devices on their networks.

Stage 2 — Call in the Lawyers

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Create an acceptable use policy that controls what people can and can’t do with devices on the network.

A recent survey found that just 57% of workers are aware of company security policies. And 48% of companies with a BYOD policy (Bring Your Own Device) have absolutely no way of enforcing it. Which ultimately leaves you and your business vulnerable to many security threats. 

Stage 3 — Initial Acceptance of a New IoT Threat Vector

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According to technology research firm Gartner:

  • IoT device usage will grow from 6.4 billion in 2016 to 11.4 billion in 2018.
  • By 2020, over 25% of cyber attacks will involve IoT
  • Resulting in IoT security spending increasing from $348 million in 2016 to $840.5 million in 2020

IoT Threat Level: High

IoT devices were leveraged to carry out the largest DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service) in history, which took down 20% of the internet.

Stage 4 — False Confidence in Existing Solutions

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Existing network controls can’t see IoT devices, bluetooth, or other critical IoT device protocols. Therefore, IT Security teams must devise separate solutions for monitoring wired and wireless networks and devices and begin altering security spending.

IoT devices will likely rise from 1% to 20% of annual security budgets by 2020

Stage 5 — IoT Security Acceptance Pledge

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I am responsible for security, but no longer have control over the networks, devices, and systems that I am used to. I must look past my own network and understand the devices and networks around me to secure my environment.

IoT devices and networks will be deployed by my company without my knowledge and I must not get mad, but rather incorporate them into my security strategy. Don’t let IoT devices jeopardize your privacy. Admit that you have a problem and begin taking the necessary steps to ensure the security of your most important data.

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