Securing Your Smart Business: IoT and Your Data

In the current age of cloud computing and the Internet of Things, information is at our fingertips. This helps to improve communication, meet customer expectations, and streamline business processes. On the other hand, it creates a flow of information that is difficult to contain, especially in the context of remote work and BYOD environments. Most businesses rely on digital tools to keep up with communication and market demands. It is more important than ever to ensure that your business’s cybersecurity program can bring stability to digital transformation and tech integration.

It’s never too late to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a cybersecurity program. Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a great opportunity to take a look at the ways businesses can secure their IoT effectively and keep their data safe.

Where is Your Data?

The first step to securing the IoT in your business is identifying it. Do you know how all of your data is collected, processed, and stored? Your company’s IoT includes any internet-connected device that is used to access business data, whether that is a company computer, an employee’s smart watch, or a point of sale machine. Resilience at the network level is essential to prevent Denial-of-Service attacks and other cyber threats that exploit network vulnerabilities. It is equally important to have strong device-level security wherever your company’s data is readily available. Personnel regularly use devices that may have saved passwords, synced accounts, and minimal requirements for authenticating to the system – plus any data stored locally on the device.

Most businesses have an assortment of internet-connected devices that are used to access to confidential data. Each of these access points must be covered by the cybersecurity program in some capacity. On-site computers are obvious candidates for strong security, but it shouldn’t stop there. Employees’ smartphones have names, email addresses, and phone numbers of other people in the company. Remote work introduces company data to phones, tablets, and laptops, either company-issued or personal. Point-of-sale machines, time clocks, smart TVs, and other onsite devices also connect to the network and may contain private data, so these also need protections. When applying both network-level and device-level security measures, businesses should be aware of all the commonly used access points to their confidential data.

Data Accessibility Concerns

On any device where data is processed, collected, or stored, there must be effective security in place to prevent data breaches and to protect the privacy of employees and customers. Once you have identified the access points to your business’s digital data, it’s time to think about how and where authorized users need to have access. An initial security audit will help businesses take a strategic, risk-based approach to cybersecurity.

First, who needs access? Only users who need to use particular sets of data should have access to them. The fewer people who have access to confidential data, the fewer records are at risk in a potential breach. Optimize collaboration tools and cloud storage to identify and manage which users can access which data.

How are these points accessed?  If company data is available through a website or portal that only requires an internet connection, it is possible to get to it from any device. Users may not have extensive security on their mobile devices and personal laptops they use for work, and in some cases they might use a public or shared computer. For on-site company devices, it is easy enough to enforce network-wide security measures and there are ways to physically secure devices that are not meant to leave the building. The available security options are different when employees work from home.

Where are the devices kept and accessed? Again we must address the difference in cybersecurity needs between on-site devices, company-issued devices for remote work, and personal devices. When it is unrealistic for employees to go into the office to work, device security should still be a primary consideration. Since there is less control in different locations and environments, it is important to have a security solution that will address the challenge of protecting data when it is out of the company’s hands.

Device Security Solutions

An effective way to prevent unauthorized logins is to enforce multi-factor authentication. Session timeouts are a way to limit access if a user is inactive for a period of time. Device policies should specify requirements for logging in through non-company devices, and in many cases a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solution is appropriate for extra security. If a malicious actor does gain access to a user’s device, the company needs to act quickly to prevent data compromise. Businesses can implement a work-from-home security policy to establish a strategy and address issues that require employee awareness and action.

DriveStrike is an enterprise-level solution with essential security features and simple execution. With DriveStrike, you can manage all your devices from one secure central console. Remote Locate devices using the most granular location data available. Remote Lock devices to prevent unauthorized access. Remote Wipe lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised devices for the best protection against data breaches. With the option to create Groups and assign Device Managers, DriveStrike administrators can delegate management for different departments, limiting access to those who need it and enabling different strategies based on device security needs. Remote Wipe, Lock, and Locate are available commands for all the devices you manage, and there are more options for some operating systems.

Windows Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions have the option for BitLocker drive encryption. BitLocker protects the local hard drive through extra authentication security, ensuring only authorized users can access the BitLocker-enabled machine. DriveStrike makes BitLocker management simple: store and access keys, persist BitLocker to re-activate if it is disabled, and turn keys and lock to deny access to a device.

Android Mobile Device Management provides custom security and configuration options. For devices enrolled in either Enterprise mode or Shared management (BYOD) mode, DriveStrike administrators can set lock screen and passcode policies and approve and configure apps.

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Driving Awareness – Cybersecurity is for everyone.

Organization-wide understanding of cybersecurity is just as important as SaaS and other technical security solutions.  An effective cybersecurity program includes training so that everyone in the organization understands the importance of cybersecurity and knows how they can help safeguard confidential data. With clear knowledge about what data is confidential, warning signs of a threat, and what to do in a cybersecurity emergency, employees, IT, and management can all contribute to the security of devices and data.

Here are a few resources to learn more about cybersecurity and put that knowledge into action:

 

DriveStrike is available for all major platforms and operating systems, providing effective security for individuals, businesses, healthcare providers, government agencies, and education. Sign up for a free trial to start protecting your devices and data today. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about data protection, DriveStrike, or cybersecurity in general. Your security is our priority.

Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.