3 key insights to help secure the Internet of Things

  • Hackers can access company networks and systems through unsecured employee wearables and other personal devices.

  • Businesses don't think of these connected devices as computers, which can be detrimental if devices enter the workplace unsecured.

Whether its computer-equipped safety goggles for hands-free warehouse work, a fitness band to encourage employee activity and curtail healthcare costs, or a shipping container with a temperature sensor to keep food fresh, connected devices are shifting from “gadgets” to go-to productivity tools for more effective businesses and workforces.

However, when it comes to securing the varied connected devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT), it can get a bit hairy. These assets can be anywhere, doing things no one ever considered before, and without the security precautions put in place for the more traditional devices that are connecting to the Internet.


construction workers on mobile


Change perceptions, raise awareness

The problem is, businesses don’t yet think of these new connected devices as computers. Because of that, data often flows to and from them with little or no protection, which inadvertently gives hackers inroads into your network and systems, leaving you and your data exposed.

By raising risk awareness across your organization, and by taking pre-emptive steps to protect connected devices and your network, you can enter the world of connected devices with a balance of optimism and caution to get the most from IoT. Here are 3 key insights:

1. Apply lessons learned from smartphone and tablet security

  • Encrypt data on devices, use a minimum of two-factor authentication to restrict access and use remote data wiping tools if a device is lost or stolen.
  • Perform an end-to-end security risk assessment, including penetration testing for connected devices, to identify security weaknesses before an attacker does.
  • Use threat management tools, such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and web filtering to prevent unauthorized access and exposure to Internet threats.
  • For each connected device, decide who should be able to access the data it captures and sends, how it should be viewed, from which locations, and how it needs to be secured.

2. Bypass the Internet for additional protection

Instead of using the Internet to connect IOT devices, consider using private networking services to enhance network security for data traveling the path from device to the cloud or other resources.

  • Use AT&T Virtual Private Network (VPN) to transmit data from connected devices to corporate resources in a secure cloud environment.
  • Use AT&T Commercial Connectivity Service (CCS) to create a private wireless pathway between your Wide Area Network (WAN) and connected devices on the AT&T cellular network.

3. Create a security-conscious culture

  • Share the responsibility of security with employees. They are your first lines of defense, so it’s important to educate them on proper procedures. If employees are taking devices outside the protection of your network perimeter, make sure they are aware of the risks and the potential impact to IT and security management functions.

Engage your security team early. By consulting with them during the development cycle, you can address security issues to adopt new connected devices with more confidence and less risk.

Get your business connected with AT&T IoT Solutions, and keep your information secure with our network security solutions.


Michael Singer Product Marketing Management AVP AT&T About Michael