IoT Defense Strategy – Addressing the Remediation Deficit

IoT Defense Strategy – Addressing the Remediation Deficit

Threat actors often target low-hanging fruit – with so many potential targets, those that provide the most convenient access are the most appealing. When IoT devices aren’t adequately secured, they become a vulnerability.

Cloud infrastructure environments have grown exponentially in terms of filling more and more business roles as a result of freeing enterprises from the technical and budgetary constraints of building their capacity. While this development has provided businesses with unparalleled flexibility and capacity to iterate and expand, it has also offered cybercriminals new opportunities.

Vulnerabilities increase in tandem with the expansion and complexity of cloud environments. They build up quicker than human teams can repair them, resulting in a remediation deficit. Fortunately, many of these attacks are aimed at data center technology and can be mitigated with standard approaches such as patches, passwords, and certificate management.

Legacy solutions, however, don’t always apply to IoT devices, as many companies have discovered the hard way. IoT devices can be exploited for around half of all known vulnerabilities, an area of cybersecurity that already requires more attention from security professionals. Even if their target organizations ignore IoT, cybercriminals will not – it’s becoming their favored means of infiltrating an organization.

Controlling the Deficit in Remediation

The first step is to determine which IoT devices are used by businesses and their vulnerabilities. It’s all too simple for IoT devices to accumulate across multiple business activities or overtime in such a way that they’re not adequately tracked. There are several sophisticated threat assessment technologies available for IoT devices, so putting these to use to build an accurate picture of the organization’s risk profile will be a significant step toward reducing the remediation deficit. 

Also Read: Threats and Issues for Securing IoT Devices

Because most security teams are already stretched thin, it’s critical to identify the risks that pose a real threat to business operations and are likely to be exploited to make the remediation process more manageable. The CISA catalog can help put this process in context, but each organization’s priorities will differ depending on its IT environment and how it supports business activities.

Developing an IoT Defense Plan

Vulnerabilities accumulate quicker than people can patch them, contributing to the problem. This is why, as part of their IoT protection strategy, security teams must incorporate automation. Automated patching solutions and firmware updates are an excellent example, as manual upgrades to IoT networks running at scale are inefficient and ineffective.

Authenticating IoT devices using certificates can encrypt device traffic, help prevent Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attacks, and move the IoT component of the business closer to a zero-trust environment, which should be a broader IT security aim for enterprises in general. Extend corporate governance principles to all network-connected devices, allowing security controls to follow essential data wherever it goes. 

IoT devices must be included in risk assessments and prioritization across the enterprise, especially as the IoT attack surface expands. It must be considered as part of the organization’s overall strategic strategy. Neglecting it is like leaving the door open for threat actors.

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