6 ways to help improve IoT security

Countless connected devices add vulnerability for businesses

by Jared Peterson, Lead Marketing Manager, AT&T IoT

Nearly everything is connected in the Internet of Things (IoT) – devices, applications, sensors and modems talk to each other and share data.

These connections can give businesses a dynamic, near real-time picture of their operations and opportunities. But these same connections can also add vulnerability.  

“With IoT, the information associated with an individual device may not be as important as the role the device plays in the IoT ecosystem” says Jen Morovitz, Director of Technology Security at AT&T. “If the device were to fail or be manipulated, what are the impacts?”

The impacts include organizations losing millions of dollars in revenue and even more in consumer trust.

In the last two years, AT&T has logged a 458 percent increase in vulnerability scans – attempts by hackers to find a way into IoT devices – according to our latest IoT report. No wonder only half of top CEOs surveyed said they felt confident in the security of their connected devices.

To take a proactive approach when it comes to IoT security, consider these steps:

1. Adopt a risk-driven approach

Understand the risk matrix of your devices, then apply security controls appropriate to the level of risk involved.

2. Assess IoT device security characteristics

From simple to complex, ensure every connected device meets certain security requirements.

3. Look beyond IoT device security

With many levels and types of communication networks within different IoT solutions, look beyond the device for any security risks, including applications that drive those solutions.

4. Where possible, extend existing security solutions

With the increase in connected endpoints, IoT-based data may strain the capacities of existing systems, and new types of controls may be required for unique types of IoT risks.

5. Consider the entire IoT ecosystem

Evaluate the security capabilities and responsibilities of your IoT product and services vendors. Establish clear lines of accountability and, in worst-case scenarios, liability.

6. Wherever possible, automate security

With increases in connected endpoints and devices, IoT deployments are driving the need for increased automation in data monitoring, threat identification, and other facets of security.

Learn more

IoT is more than just devices talking to one another. It’s where the future of many enterprises will unfold.

If you’re ready to take full advantage of IoT, AT&T is ready to help bring your IoT solutions to life. So far, AT&T has connected more than 30 million devices in a global network that spans over 200 countries and territories.

For more information on IoT, read our special report, “What you need to know about IoT platforms.”

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