Homeowners are learning all about the Internet of Things, or IoT, very rapidly. Walk into any home improvement store, and you see household control systems, smart lightbulbs and thermostats, and automated security systems.
Of course, this does not mean that the IoT ends there, and there are wearables of all kinds (like fitness bands), mobile devices, cameras (including SLR with WiFi functions), toys, appliances, and even cars that are part of the IoT bucket.
While there is a massive excitement around these developments, there is one thing that has emerged of late, and which has many concerned. It is the security threats that even the best of the IoT devices create, and this has now spilled over into business Internet security too.
After all, the threats that the devices pose come in the form of “attack vectors” or “surfaces.” In other words, many of the IoTs create a place from which hackers can launch attacks into a network. In a home network, it is a matter of getting in and stealing or ransoming the most important data.
Identity theft and financial loss are the possibilities, but also the risk of a legion of IoT devices being used, unknowingly, as part of a botnet army for a much larger attack.
Those attacks are usually of the DNS kind, and this is but one of the biggest threats that IoT bring to business Internet security.
Beyond Basic Business Internet Security
For a long while now, businesses have used more advanced equipment than consumers, and that is to be expected. The technologies at work in business have to be more durable, capable of handling constant levels of volume and demand, providing security, and functioning to whatever scale is needed.
The ways that business use technology is nearly limitless, but one area is particularly important – business Internet security.
It was businesses that first used scalable routers, advanced software solutions to prevent rapidly-spreading threats, enormous digital data storage, and more. Consider that basic business Internet security is what made antivirus software, firewall technologies, and anti-malware possible.
Sadly, business Internet security did not plan for all kinds of attack surfaces to enter the workplace each day. For example, one expert said this:
Fitbits, smartwatches, and other IoT devices have already made their way onto the enterprise network scene, and making sure the network doesn’t go down and confidential data isn’t leaked due to a compromised connected device is something enterprises also need to think about. (Dark Reading)
If a device has been deployed in a network, it is rarely managed again. For instance, ports in a router, even a business scale router, are not going to question requests from devices in the network.
That is why so many firms implement business Internet security through the creation of WiFi networks entirely separate and disconnected from the key data systems. Employee and guest specific networks are one of the common approaches.
Start at the Source
Naturally, business Internet security begins at the router as this is the gateway through which everything passes. Running a commercial-grade router is an essential, and it is surprising how many smaller businesses fail to realize the importance of this one decision. While more costly, the business router is going to offer the kind of security that no consumer models can ever provide.
The consumer router is all about the hardware, enabling gaming and streaming along with Internet browsing, but a business router is all about the firmware or software. That is where security is found, and if business Internet security is to be assured, it must start with the browser.
Because most smaller businesses will have employees using their router and network, the use of the commercial router enables the creation of everything from multiple networks (and SSIDs) as well as VPNs.
The speed and performance of a commercial model are better as well. Of course, you can make all of the appropriate changes in settings that lockdown the security of the device.
A router, whether business scale or consumer sized, should have the basic settings changed to avoid any risks or vulnerabilities where business Internet security is concerned.
A unique username is known only to administrators, a unique password unable to be broken through brute force attacks, and some sort of monitoring system to gauge suspicious activities is best.
Any business worried about Internet security, and cyber attacks have to now include IoT compromises in its overall strategy. We are no longer in the age of software solutions providing adequate protection. Hackers have managed to gain entry into some of the world’s most remarkable places, stealing data, hijacking information to ransom, and more.
Quite often, their success was a matter of persistence and seeking to find access in whatever way possible. If you are worried that your Internet security is not a good defense against such ongoing threats, take the steps offered here.
CUJO devices, for example, can be used as part of a business Internet security strategy, though it is also ideal for a private home, too. That is a device that offers an additional layer of security by blending the potency of the firewall, anti-malware and virus, and deep packet inspection technologies.
Designed to recognize and immediately block incoming threats, it is capable of identifying attacks meant to work around the router’s firewall.
For example, if an employee enters the office with a compromised IoT device, this could allow a hacker to then rely on that device to access the network. With a gateway device such as CUJO, however, the incoming requests would be instantly recognized as malicious, and effectively blocked.
You can also create peace of mind by merely using a commercial grade router that has been locked down and set to the most rigorous security standards.
You can install a gateway device to be doubly sure that the door is not only locked but bolted to the would-be hackers. As time passes, we are likely to see the IoT attacks increase, but if you are prepared, you can still use the Internet safely, protecting your network, your many devices, and eliminating even the threat that can come from IoT devices from outside the business.