The Internet of Things (IoT)—that woefully named but full of opportunity trend—is enabling solution providers to bring new solutions to their customers. However, the explosive growth in new internet-enabled devices coming onto the market is also bringing confusion and new threats.
Manufacturers of the new devices are simply not designing these products with security in mind, and that is becoming more and more apparent as the devices are introduced. Many are providing new attack vectors for companies to protect against, with compromised devices being used as paths into networks, or to expose critical data that they were tasked with collecting. Don’t just rely on the manufacturers of these devices for security solutions, as this exposes the organization to undue risk.
As with all technologies, the best starting place for securing them is focusing on managing the risk via the human element. For IoT, that means establishing policies and procedures for data security, and enforcing those across the organization. Security awareness training and education is already vital for conventional computing, but it becomes critical in the world of IoT.
Starting from here, networks can then be built for security from the bottom up. Here are three more key steps you need to take to help ensure your networks are ready for the IoT.
This combination of practical changes to secure networks, combined with policy implementation, is not only a wise move to prepare for any coming device trend, but also a necessary investment for businesses now. Delivering benefits today, services around securing networks and providing layered security also prepare businesses for upcoming trends.
By actively thinking ahead and implementing a layered security approach, companies are ensuring that as new intelligent devices are brought online, they will be restricted only to the kind of access they require. This will prevent unwanted communications and thus compromise by unauthorized parties.
It’s also important to remember that security is not a one-time implementation. It needs to be reappraised on a continual basis—revisiting policies and procedures, ongoing training of users, and continued network audits are all essential. This is an ideal solution for MSPs and IT solution providers to offer—monitoring and maintaining a customer’s security posture and ensuring everything is as it should be.
Solution providers are adept at solving mysteries and finding the margin within to deliver value for their customers, and IoT security is exactly one of those areas.
Dave Sobel is Senior Director of Community and Field Marketing at SolarWinds MSP. You can follow Dave on Twitter® at @djdaveet
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