5 Essential Steps to Making Business IoT Devices Safer

The internet of things – more commonly known as IoT – is a label applied to objects within households that are connected via the internet, which are able to receive and share data. From ordering laundry detergent through online retailers to identifying individuals at your front door via interactive doorbells, the IoT enables you to complete mundane, everyday tasks, quickly and efficiently without a second thought, leaving you to ‘increase productivity’ in other areas of your life. But, what do you do when your top of the range baby monitor starts talking back to you, or your in-house voice-activated personal assistant leaves discrepancies in your bank balance?

These aren’t just questions for households, it’s vitally important for business to understand and acknowledge these concerns. Having digital connections in all areas of our life holds significant advantages but it can also leave you vulnerable to the same cyber security threats as your household PC. The increased number of technological devices means that the risk of cyber-attack is also dramatically boosted. Yet it’s in the portability of each device that further heightens the risk of damage or loss, resulting in a potential breach of information.

But there are precautionary measures you can take to minimise the chances of security violations. Follow our guide to ensure you don’t get caught out amidst the IOT…

Step 1 – Investigate protection

When purchasing new devices investigate the level of protection that they offer. Most devices transfer information through cloud services, so checking whether these services are encrypted and whether the privacy policy is robust enough to meet data protection regulation will mean that you can be confident that any information streamed through your household is secure.

Step 2 – Think about your network

Does your wi-fi allow guests to connect? If your IoT devices are networked to an open connection, that could mean that anybody could access your data without you knowing. Creating a separate network for your devices should prevent any unwanted visitors from connecting with your personal data, allowing you to keep your private information, private.

Step 3 – Ask why you’re connecting

Actually think about whether your devices need connecting in the first place. Having a gadget like a fridge that connects to Facebook may be a novel talking point for a while, but do you really need it? Limiting the number of devices connected to the internet can go a long way to protecting you. Just because you can connect, doesn’t mean you should.

Step 4 – Use password variation

Use passwords to protect your devices. Ensure you use different passwords across each device, with a combination of upper and lower letters, numbers and symbols. This will make it more complex for would-be hackers to access your stored information.

Step 5 – Keep firmware updated

Ensure that your devices are kept secure, patching security gaps as they arise. Be vigilant for notifications, reminding you to update the firmware on your devices, and the router you are using, when necessary.

Using artificial intelligence and IoT devices within the home is safe, provided you take the correct action to increase security around them, preventing criminals from accessing sensitive details. Enjoy your new technology and the freedoms it brings you by ensuring you remain vigilant and take simple steps to protect yourself from cyber-attacks.

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