The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing at a rapid pace. It’s one of the future technologies set to change the world. IoT refers to physical and interrelated computing devices that transfer data on the web. IDC, a global market research company, estimated that the world would have approximately 41.6 billion IoT devices by 2025.
With more IoT devices finding their way onto businesses and households, one major concern is making sure that the data, network, and IT infrastructure stay secure. Users, therefore, should protect their devices to enjoy the benefits of IoT with peace of mind and confidence.
Here are five security practices you can follow to safeguard your devices from hackers and other cybercriminals:
1. Create a Separate Network
Don’t let the IoT machines in your home or office connect to the same Wi-Fi connection you’re using for your computers and mobile phones. Segment your network by assigning an internet connection dedicated exclusively for IoT devices.
Network segmentation bolsters security by isolating network traffic and preventing access between segments. If attackers find a way to infiltrate the network of your IoT machines, they can’t access information found in other networks.
2. Disable Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)
Many smart home devices come equipped with UPnP, a feature that enables machines to locate and connect with other devices. The drawback, however, is that UPnP depends on the local network of your home or business. If hackers were to gain control of this network, they could have access to multiple IoT devices.
Err on the side of caution. Turn off UPnP and make it a standard practice. Although manually configuring your IoT devices may be inconvenient, it’s an effective way to prevent hackers from messing with your machines and personal data.
3. Install Firewalls and Other Security Solutions
The purpose of firewalls is to block unauthorized network traffic. Install the best firewall software to keep your IoT devices secure.
Apart from that, install and execute vulnerability scanners to identify security issues or weaknesses in your IT network system. These scanners may also uncover open ports and help you decide whether these ports need to stay open or not.
4. Enable Automatic Updates
Some users hate automatic software updates. They dislike it so much that they turn off auto updates completely. This behavior is dangerous, as you could be putting off patches meant to plug up security vulnerabilities in your IoT device.
When the system prompts for a software update, run it right away. You could also check the manufacturer’s website and download the updates necessary to keep your devices protected from the latest viruses or malware.
5. Use Different Passwords for Every IoT Device
Although a strong password is important, you don’t reuse the same one across all of your devices. If a cybercriminal somehow manages to successfully obtain your password, they can use it to access all of your devices.
When you’re having trouble remembering all the different passwords, don’t write them down on a piece of paper. Use a trusted password manager instead.
Keep your IoT devices protected from hackers with these five security suggestions. When safeguarding your systems, be proactive. Since these devices are yours, do whatever is necessary to keep them safe from everyday threats.