Cybersecurity is now one of the biggest concerns that all companies have when implementing a cybersecurity strategy that’s meant to ensure your data security.
The COVID-19 pandemic made businesses even more vulnerable when discussing about cyberattacks.
Most businesses were already vulnerable to a large number of cybersecurity threats able to cause them irreparable damage.
With cyberattacks being on the rise critical industries can have to be affected, therefore creating serious repercussions in our consumer society. When, also, these companies execute digitalization processes using IoT, there is a substantial increase in the sheer number of vectors of attack.
IoT security means to consider all the cybersecurity strategy throughout your entire value chain, and for you to be able to do this, it is important to understand what the value chain is in IoT.
IoT Value Chain
The IoT value chain is made of seemingly three aspects that need to be considered.
Edge or Local Plane. This is the closest level to the physical world as it’s including sensors and actuators that are interacting with the physical world and gateways, hubs, and other IoT nodes that communicate locally with these sensors and actuators.
The second component of IoT are the communications Network; they are the route connecting data coming from the local plane to the one going on the remote plane and vice versa, thus bridging the physical world with the digital world of the Internet.
The third and latter component of IoT is the Cloud or Remote Plane. This environment is the one that collects, processes, and makes sense of the received data.
So, security in IoT equals with security throughout all the above-mentioned levels, as all of them are important in order to ensure the integrity of the data that is being exchanged and the remote and local systems involved, but usually the communications networks and cloud elements are much larger and therefore better protected, this being the precise reason to which the vast majority of cyberattacks and security threats are focused on the IoT devices.
The Weakest Link in the Security Chain
The IoT device can be considered without any doubt the most vulnerable element of the entire security chain. Considering this is a user-oriented device, it usually lacks regular firmware updates which may leave it exposed to possible security threats.
The PC and smartphone usually receive notifications of the new security patches and updates available. This is what keeps our smartphones and laptops up-to-date and protected against the latest threats as they appear on the market. In the vast world of IoT, however, this is not the case. Most of these devices rarely get updated after being deployed in their physical environment, therefore greatly increasing the risk of becoming a victim of cyberattacks.
The IoT market is constantly developing, therefore cybersecurity is not considered to be a priority, as other concerns will come before cybersecurity ones.
This is happening when you have already developed the project but did not take into account any security needs the product might have, therefore missing the chance of creating a product that has an integrated approach.
Another aspect that we need to consider when discussing about staying safe across devices is the complexity held by managing a distributed, remote, and tremendously heterogeneous environment.
To begin with, base solutions that include security from the design stage should be used as cybersecurity must be conceived from the beginning and not as an add-on or optional function that can be added later, therefore ensuring control over the entire device life cycle making you able to upgrade all IoT devices efficiently and swiftly and manage how they operate at all times.
How to make your devices more ‘cybersecure’?
You surely know that cybersecurity is not always a certainty as nothing can be eternally cyber secure, therefore, in order to make sure you ensure the integrity of your devices you could look into a few points we listed below.
The items below should offer you a better understanding. They are designed to help you evaluate where you stand in terms of personal information security and where the areas you could improve are.
Pay attention to the type of information you have primarily stored on your computer
It is essential to make a list of the different types of information you have stored, locally, on your computer and online maybe in different apps (cloud based or not) and also on various websites.
Think about what online services you use more often
Think carefully about all of the online services you use on a daily or weekly basis, like: online shopping, social networking, online banking, News websites, Download portals or even Chat applications. By having a better understanding about what you’re using on a daily basis you can become more prepared in front of any possible attacks.
Take a closer look at the type of security software you are using to stay safe from data stealing malware
We could all see the fact that the cyber-attacks that were directed at collecting financial information and leaking confidential data have increased in numbers and severity.
You should be able to conduct online transactions with peace of mind, browse the web securely and keep your private information secure, but in order to be able to do all this you’ll need a dedicated product that should provide you with a real-time Internet traffic scanner able to scan all incoming network data for malware and stop any threats when it comes across, provide malware detection and removal of malicious software that might already entered your system and use a website security scanner feature, that by checking the website you want to visit, detects any malware and blocks it.
Make sure you are using a back-up solution for your operating system
It’s a well-known fact that keeping your data backed up is crucial for your cyber security plan. You need to make sure that your back-up your data regularly in order not to lose important progress you’ve made.
Protect your shared gadgets
Before the pandemic started and changed the lives we were used to, you might have had devices that you were using consistently for work related issues and other devices that you probably were using at home. As the human factor is the most common cause for cyber-attacks, there are some security aspects that you might take into consideration as hackers know how to manipulate and trick the vulnerable categories.
For instance, it’s a good idea to keep track of shared documents and files. Backing them up, should save you the trouble of reworking them if someone should delete or modify those files and when it comes to shared devices using Antivirus and Firewall protection are the stepping stones towards a better cybersecurity strategy.
Make sure you properly manage your passwords
By now you probably used plenty of passwords for different online services, and this makes it difficult to manage them, as you could be tempted to use the same password more than once and even more, to make that password easy to remember, but, you should never do that, as it’s a great way for the attackers to compromise your security.
Password protection of your devices is of the utmost importance and one of the more basic measures you can take. Another basic measure is to log off every time you are not using them or they are left unattended.
Regularly update the software you use
It’s essential to know that very common types of software found on your devices are notorious for their vulnerabilities, if left outdated, therefore it’s absolutely necessary to keep them up to date and prevent any security holes.
Become more educated when it comes to identifying the main types of cyber attacks
It’s important to be able to recognize a potential threat or attack, and in order to do that you need to be able to differentiate between spam, phishing attacks, malware, and other attacks in order to be able to prevent a virus from penetrating the system and leaking data to the hacker-controlled servers.
Every cyber security expert is out on preventing any major data leaks. It goes without saying that prevention is easier than mitigation when it comes to cyber-attacks consequences. You need to be able to detect a cyber-attack and know what to do about it. Any team member that learns about cyber security threats and acts adequately becomes an important asset to your company’s cyber security defenses.
Internet traffic monitoring tools are highly recommended for both outgoing and incoming traffic, and block infected websites, issuing a warning. This type of protection can also guarantee that your data will be safe, by blocking communication between your system and the hackers’ servers.
For a long time now, hackers have appealed to the so-called “social engineering” strategies – a common and quite dangerous type of cyber-attack. The victim’s psychological manipulation is one of the primary “weapons” in this type of attack. That is how the attackers are tricking the victim into divulging confidential information. The ultimate goal is to access that essential information and use it for fraud or system access
You can see that just by following a few simple principles you will be able to better protect both your data and devices, as any digitalization project in any environment must inevitably consider cybersecurity as a pillar of any implemented solution.