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Is Your Business Vulnerable from a Hidden Cyber Threat? 

Did you know a staggering 54% of organizations face attempted cyberattacks on internet-connected devices (IoT) every single week? These aren’t just your computers and servers—it’s your Wi-Fi, cameras, printers, Bluetooth speakers, Alexa devices, cell phones, access points, even fax machines. With the number of IoT devices projected to explode to over 207 billion by the end of the year, are you sure your business is properly protected? 

The Internet is Using You

You use the Internet for work and personal reasons every day, but have you stopped to consider the Internet uses you in return? Yes, that’s right, you use the Internet, and it uses you. Before you wave off the thought, take stock of the numerous internet-connected devices that populate your personal and professional life—any one of them might be hiding a cyber thief you can’t see. But they can certainly see you. 

Every device connected to your network uses the Internet, and every one of these devices poses a potential risk to cyberattacks. Many companies, especially smaller businesses, might not even realize how many devices are connected to their network. This creates a hidden security blind spot that cybercriminals can exploit to steal your valuable data and disrupt your operations. 

The Point of Entry for Hackers is Only Increasing

With the continual rise in remote work and learning environments, more and more IoT devices are being utilized to streamline efficient workflows. While these devices offer convenience and automation, they introduce new security vulnerabilities to your network. 

These vulnerabilities can stem from weak default passwords, outdated firmware, or a lack of encryption. Hackers can exploit these weaknesses to gain access to your network, steal sensitive data, and disrupt your operations. 

For instance, a relatively recent cyberattack targeted an unsecured, Internet-connected fish tank in a North American casino. Hackers gained access to the casino’s network through the fish tank and stole 10 gigabytes of data. Malicious actors can be extremely resourceful. 

Your data is valuable and needs to be protected. An unsecured security camera (or fish tank!) can be exploited by hackers to gain access to your entire system, costing you downtime, lost productivity, and potentially millions in damages. 

Take Steps to Secure Your Network

Set up some time with your MSP or IT Partner to discuss your current network security measures in place. As the landscape of cybersecurity is constantly evolving, this is something you should be doing regularly. In the meantime, here are some tips toward securing your network and data:
  1. Remove Admin level from your standard user PC accounts. Your users might think they need it, but they don’t in a properly managed network.
  2. Update device firmware regularly. Just like your computers, ensure all your IoT devices have the latest firmware updates to patch vulnerabilities. You’d be shocked to learn that many people may update their PC operating system, but forget about everything else on the network.
  3. Segment your network. Isolate IoT devices from critical systems on your network to limit the potential damage if one device is compromised.
  4. Deploy Advanced Security Solutions. Deploy Endpoint Detection Response (EDR), Managed Detection Response (MDR), and Security Awareness Training (SAT) for all users. If you don’t know what these acronyms are, ask your MSP provider about them. They should already have these deployed to protect your business.
  5. Educate your employees. Train your employees to identify and report suspicious activity on the network, such as unexpected login attempts or unusual device behavior. 
  6. Enforce strong password policies. Change default passwords on all devices and enforce strong, unique passwords for each device. Also, ensure everyone is using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for any of their devices and accounts.

You are not going to become a security expert from a simple blog, but our hope is to get you to challenge your internal IT staff or MSP. 

Want to learn more? Register here  for our upcoming panel discussion on cybersecurity. 

Do you have the right protections in place? Are you confident in them? The crucial question then becomes, “On what grounds is your confidence based?” Relying on hope is not an effective approach for managing IT security. It’s essential to secure your network proactively before cyber intruders find certainty in their ability to compromise it. 

Work with a Trusted Cybersecurity Provider

There is quite a bit you can do on your own, mostly by being vigilant and aware. But to create a truly secure network, you should work with an MSP or IT security expert to ensure the best protections and practices are in place.

Even if you already have an IT partner, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion on your MSP security set up. We’re glad to discuss how we can properly protect you and identify any gaps in your security protection.

Visit our security and solutions page to learn how we can help businesses like yours.

Related Article: The Essential Guide to Cybersecurity for Professional Services in a Connected World 

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