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The benefits of the internet of things are potentially great and can be achieved with less risk of harm by following these steps.

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises benefits for companies, including rich supplies of data that can help them more effectively serve their customers. There’s also a lot to be worried about.

Because so many devices, products, assets, vehicles, buildings, etc. will be connected, there is a possibility that hackers and other cyber criminals will try to exploit weaknesses.

[ For more on IoT security see tips to securing IoT your on network and best to minimize vulnerabilities practices IoT security 10 .]

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– This is a critical area, says Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner Inc.
– One key concern for enterprises is to gain full visibility of smart connected devices. This is a requirement to do with both operational and security aspects.

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– If a security-related patch exists for an IoT device, that is the vendors acknowledgement of a weakness in their devices and the patch is the remediation, Pironti says.
– Once the patch is available, the accountability for the issue transfers from the vendor to the organization using the device.

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It’s important to remember that IoT patch management is often difficult, Contu says.
– This is why it is important to do a full asset-discovery to identify where organizations are potentially vulnerable, he says.
– There is as a result the need to seek out alternative measures and models to apply security, given [that] patching is not always possible. Monitoring network traffic is one way to compensate for the inability to apply patches, Contu says.

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– The pen testers I speak to do network penetration tests along with ensuring the integrity of network segmentations, Westervelt says.
– Some environments will require an assessment of their wireless infrastructure. I believe application penetration testing is a slightly lower priority within IoT for now, with exception for certain use cases. Penetration testing should be part of a broader risk assessment program, Contu says.
– We expect an increasing demand for security certification [related to] these activities, he says.

If an actual IoT-related attack occurs, be ready to act immediately.
–Construct a security response plan and issue guidance and governance around it, DiDio says.
– Put together a chain of responsibility and command in the event of a successful penetration.

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– It may require hardware and/or software encryption – depending on the sensitivity of the data being collected – and PKI [public key infrastructure] to validate device, sensors and other components, Westervelt says.
– Other IoT devices like point-of-sale systems may require whitelisting, operating-system restrictions and possibly anti-malware, depending on the device functionality.

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– If a network security appliance is being implemented in a critical juncture, some organizations may choose to deploy it in passive mode only, Westervelt says.
– Remember that with industrial processes – where we are seeing IoT sensors and devices being deployed – there may be no tolerance for false positives. Blocking something important could cause an explosion or even trigger a shutdown of industrial machinery, which can be extremely costly.

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