The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as printers, cameras, and countless other everyday gadgets has become abundant. While these devices are cool and convenient, they also bring with them a significant cybersecurity risk. As we embrace the benefits of IoT technology, it’s key to understand the security challenges it poses and how we can safeguard ourselves against them.
[Security Moment] IoT Cybersecurity Breach
Data Breaches and Privacy Concerns
Unmanaged IoT devices can be vulnerable to hacking and data breaches. If these devices are connected to a business network without proper security measures, they can serve as entry points for cybercriminals. Data collected and transferred by IoT devices, such as customer information or private business data, can be compromised. This not only jeopardizes the privacy of individuals but also exposes sensitive business data, potentially leading to legal and financial consequences.
Example of a Recent IoT Security Breach
The attacker first penetrated an unprotected Linux-based device to establish a foothold in the company’s network.
The device had an online access point, an internal network address, and operated on a Linux operating system. Unfortunately, it couldn’t support our complete management and security system designed for Microsoft Windows environments.
The targeted organization didn’t have a firewall or network setup that could work seamlessly with our threat monitoring and detection system, SOC+SIEM. Without an effective monitoring system, the targeted organization’s breach wasn’t detected until the attacker made their move and it was too late.
- Strive to apply a complete security system across all network devices. While it may restrict your device and technology options, this approach ensures a more comprehensive understanding of your IT environment, its operations, and security, reducing potential hiding spots for threat actors.
- For devices that are necessary but can’t support a complete security setup, consider isolating them for internet access only (without visibility to other network areas or devices), restricting inbound and outbound traffic to the bare minimum, or, ideally, placing them behind a web application firewall or a similar service that monitors and limits the content and communication (OSI L3+) to and from the device.
- Cyber attackers often go after weak spots in security. When you need remote access to your internal network and devices, it’s essential to use the latest and most secure methods. We’ve stopped using older practices like public remote desktop, outdated Virtual Private Networks (VPN) technologies, VPNs without extra security measures, and making certain services publicly accessible. Instead, we prioritize secure methods like Azure Virtual Desktop with extra authentication, which allows access to a well-protected system. If some users need a VPN, we choose a secure Azure-based option with extra authentication. When we need to access on-site systems, we use Azure-based connections to Cisco Meraki firewalls, following recommended security practices.
- During a security breach, cyber attackers typically look for lateral movement and persistence. Nearly all modern network devices carry some level of suspicion in terms of their capability and associated risks. Utilize available information to assess the business risks associated with devices that are known to be compromised, those confirmed as clean, and those whose status is uncertain. Decide which devices can be safely reintegrated into a trusted environment after the incident and plan accordingly.
Start Working Towards Better Security
You should not be worried whether you’re secure. Partner with Aldridge and become confident that you’re prepared for whatever happens next. Take a look at our IT Security page to see how we can help.