Staying Safe, While Staying Connected
As more organizations enter the digital landscape of the Internet of Things (IoT), there are parallel increases in the number and frequencies of cyberattacks. IoT has a great capacity for beneficial technological impact across all industries, but unless organizations can embrace better cybersecurity, they are all under massive risk of attack.
Make no mistake: threat actors have taken note of the increasing number of connected devices and the complexity of the interacting systems—and they’ve been evolving right alongside it. Cybercriminals will often focus on the weakest link they spot in a system. In many cases, it’s authentication: the process of ensuring that a user is who they say they are.
Though password policies might be ubiquitous in some ways, contemporary issues with authentication bring them once again front and center. Current password policies are not doing the work we need them to. Exposed credentials—e.g. your email username and password—are responsible for a large percentage of breaches and ransomware attacks. The ways that credentials get cracked, hacked, bought, and sold are manifold. It’s no longer sufficient to require a long or arbitrarily complicated password. Every organization needs to modernize its practices in securing the password layer and monitor for compromised credentials.
Fortunately, there are some solutions and strategies your organization can embrace quickly with minimal user friction. Depending on the size and needs of your enterprise, there are applicable guidelines (for example, HIPAA and HITRUST for healthcare organizations).
For now, here are five tips for better IoT security.
Organizations should approach cybersecurity and authentication strategies upfront, not as a last-minute thought. Addressing vulnerabilities in each layer, specifically the password layer, means organizations have a lower risk of a breach.
Breaches can have enormously disruptive consequences—from ransomware attacks that can cause major financial disaster, all the way to long-term reputational issues that are difficult for companies and organizations to shake. To avoid becoming the next headline in cybersecurity news, your organization needs to batten down the digital hatches.