October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the main theme is, “If you connect it, protect it”. This year’s campaign focuses on device security for all endpoint devices both at work and at home.
The makeup of today’s networks look very different than those of just a decade ago. Computers and servers used to be the main endpoints that businesses had to worry about protecting. Now they have been eclipsed by mobile devices.
60% of the endpoints in an average office are mobile devices. 

IoT devices are also being introduced into the office technology environment more frequently with the addition of IP security cameras along with wireless printers, voice assistants and more.

This means that cybersecurity efforts need to cover all three major types of endpoints:

  • Computers
  • Mobile devices
  • IoT devices

Everyone plays a part in protecting devices from malware and data breaches. It takes both companies and users working together to keep devices secure and properly protected.

Do Your Part for Device Security

IoT Device Security 

From the end of 2018 to the end of 2019, IoT adoption grew 21.5%. However, security remains a major concern with these smart gadgets. 57% of IoT devices are vulnerable to mid or high-severity attacks. 

IoT security needs to be front and center as these devices become integrated into daily workflows. 

Here are several best practices for IoT device security.

  • Immediately Change the Admin Login: Manufacturer default logins are only designed for you to gain entry to set up an IoT device. They should be changed immediately. Otherwise, hackers can easily compromise your device.
  • Change the SSID: The SSID (device name) should be changed to something that does not identify the device type, brand or location.
  • Disable Unneeded Features: IoT devices can have sharing features that make them more vulnerable to hackers. Turn off any features you don’t absolutely need.
  • Turn Off Camera/Mic When Not In Use: Voice assistants are helpful but they can also record things that you don’t want them to. Turn off camera and mic features when the device is not in use.
  • Update Firmware Regularly: It is not always evident when a router or other IoT device has an update so you need to log into the settings regularly to check for them.

Mobile Device Security

Mobile devices have now taken on more of the workload than computers in many offices. This means they have just as much access to sensitive data but they often are not protected as much as they need to be.

Here are some of the mobile device security protections to consider:

  • Use a Mobile Device Manager: Companies should use a mobile device manager to keep track of all mobile devices that have access to their data. This includes devices that are both company and employee owned.
  • Only Install Legitimate Apps: Malicious apps are multiplying fast. It is important to research app makers thoroughly before installing a new app so that you do not fall victim to malware or a banking trojan.
  • Keep Devices Updated: Keep mobile device operating systems and apps updated regularly.
  • Don’t Auto-Connect: Do not allow mobile devices to auto-connect to Wi-Fi. You could end up connecting to an unsecure network or one that a hacker has set up as a decoy.
  • Use “Find My Phone”: Make sure to use a “Find My Phone” feature on all mobile devices so you can lock or wipe them remotely if lost or stolen.
  • Install Mobile Anti-Malware: Mobile devices are just as susceptible as computers to malware and viruses. Make sure you install a reliable anti-malware application.

Computer Security

You would think that desktop and laptop security was a given. However, many offices still do not have their devices properly protected.

Here are the best practices you should be following to secure computers with access to business data:

  • AI-Powered Anti-Malware: Make sure you are using an AI-powered anti-malware that can detect suspicious behavior. This is needed to catch zero-day threats (which now make up a large part of malware attacks).
  • Automate Updates: It is vital to keep computers updated and patched to avoid leaving them vulnerable to a breach. Managed IT services offer this and other important protections.
  • Use a DNS Filter: Most phishing attacks these days use malicious URL’s instead of attachments. It is important to use a DNS filter on computers to block malicious sites and redirect users to a warning page.
  • Email Filtering: Another critical protection against phishing attacks is to use an email filter to help keep dangerous emails and spam out of user inboxes.
  • Managed Backup: One hard drive crash can mean a major data loss incident. It is vital to back up all computer data regularly using a managed backup and recovery strategy.

Make Device Security Easy with a Managed Services Plan

Sound Computers can help your business ensure your devices are protected and updated regularly. 

Contact us today to learn more about our expert managed services! Call 860-577-8060 or reach us online.

October 27, 2020
Steven Nuhn