As more companies are adopting IoT solutions in their operations, security is fast becoming a bigger risk. Here are some ways to leverage IoT and stay secure.

There are growing concerns around security and IoT, but that has not stopped firms from adopting the technology for its clear benefits. Considering that IoT can help in reducing costs, improving efficiency, and providing visibility in operations, manufacturers continue to roll out IoT connected technology.

According to Gartner, there will be over 20 billion internet connected things (including personal devices and enterprise systems) by 2020. An account of the breaches mentioned in IoT Security Market Report 2017-2022, suggests that the top reason for breaches in this space is malware attacks at 24%. Manufacturers cannot afford to be complacent about IoT deployment anymore. Unsecured devices leave enterprises vulnerable to physical damage, data theft, and even revenue loss.

Some best practices in the process of IoT deployment, with disciplined processes, are:

Determine the most vulnerable areas of the business: It is important to make an inventory of the IoT devices that are deployed throughout the organization. This inventory has to be compared to the platforms, networks and cloud integration to find the gaps in security and assess the vulnerable points. This makes it easier to prioritize securing IoT devices where hackers if they manage to find access, can cause the most havoc.

Build multi-layered defense: Since IoT devices have many stakeholders across business units, a successful plan to mitigate IoT risk depends on strong collaboration. The diverse stakeholders can actually build multiple layers of security and harden the company’s defenses. Good cyber security operations also run ‘fire drill’ exercises regularly IoT-specific attack simulating breaches to test the organization’s response plan. Companies can use their experience with the simulations to create defense playbooks.

High-Security IoT device: Security concerns are shared with IoT device manufacturers to ensure higher built-in device security. The in-house cybersecurity team tasked with IoT protection will be able to secure the operating systems and firmware of the devices themselves, while also providing API security in case of platform or third-party integrations.

Continuously audit and monitor IoT devices: Threats against IoT are always evolving and changing. To maintain strong IoT security, companies must have procedures in place using which they can equip IoT devices with the latest patches. They need to scan their networks constantly to detect IoT-related anomalies so that they can actively investigate any suspicious activity and contain the damage quickly.