How To Secure IoT Devices

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The cyberthreat landscape is constantly evolving, between the implementation of new technologies and the creative efforts of bad actors. Having a basic understanding of how to defend your network will go a long way in protecting your data, in addition to other simple solutions like creating better passwords. Especially since cyberthreats are no longer isolated to personal and work computers, it spans much farther with endpoint devices and IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

Endpoint devices are LAN-connected or WAN-connected hardware devices that communicate across a network. The term can refer to any network connected device: desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, printers, or other specialized hardware like POS terminals or retail kiosks, that act as a user endpoint in a distributed network. While Microsoft describes the Internet of Things to be an “entire network of physical devices, tools, appliances, equipment, machinery, and other smart objects that have the capability to collect data about the physical world and transmit that data through the internet.”

Though the differences between Endpoint devices and Internet of Things devices overlap in some ways, they all must be secured to protect your sensitive information, especially if you or your team are working remotely. Here are some tips to help secure the network your IoT devices are connected to, from our IT experts at NTG.

Give your router a unique name

If you don’t change your router’s default settings, it may make it easier for a bad actor to identify what make or model you are using. Our cybersecurity experts suggest that to keep your router safe, change the name to something that isn’t associated with you or your location. Clever names are fun, as long as they don’t give away your name, location, or any other information.

Use encrypted Wi-Fi for added security

When you are setting up your router, you can choose between different settings. Be sure to use a strong encryption method like WPA2. This will help keep your network and communications secure.

Set up a guest network for visitors

You don’t want unknown devices accessing your Wi-Fi network. For this reason, it’s good to create a guest network profile for visitors, friends, and relatives. If you’re a small business, IT experts advise doing this as well. Connect your business’ devices to a secure network, and if you want to provide wifi to your customers, do so on a separate network with a different name and password entirely. This protects against anyone gaining access to your IoT devices.

Always change default usernames and passwords

Bad actors have ways of identifying default information on IoT devices. By not changing default usernames, it makes it easier for criminals to identify the device you are using and predict your default password. If your device doesn’t allow you to change the default setting for enhanced security, you should consider getting a different device.

Keep your Software updates current

Software updates are very important for securing devices. Software updates often include new security features and patches that improve performance and resolve vulnerabilities. If you wait too long to perform an update, you could be creating a gap for malicious attacks to compromise the device. It can be tough to keep up with updates for all your devices and apps, which is just another reason to consider hiring a managed cybersecurity services provider like NTG. These teams of cybersecurity experts keep your devices fully updated, and take multi-pronged approach to your cybersecurity.

Avoid high-risk public Wi-Fi networks

Using Public Wi-Fi is a huge security risk because cyber criminals can use them to capture personal information. When you accept the terms to use a public network, you may inadvertently be allowing others to gain access to the device you are using through the public network. If you do find yourself using a public Wi-Fi network, you should be using a VPN for an added layer of protection on every device.

The team at NTG is available to talk about your cybersecurity and IT business solutions.

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