October 16, 2023

How can local enterprises protect their large-scale IoT systems?

Many enterprises have adopted large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) systems to automate tasks and make their process more efficient. While IoT has the potential to revolutionise various industries, such as healthcare, agriculture and transportation, these systems also need protection against numerous cyber threats.

So, how can enterprises ensure that their IoT systems are secure? Working alongside an experienced and reliable ICT services and cyber security provider is the best solution. This ensures that large-scale IoT systems are set up properly and monitored at all times. Any suspicious activity or cyber threats can be flagged and the appropriate action can be taken.

How IoT is changing business

IoT systems rely on a connected network of sensors and devices to provide data-driven insights to business leaders. These sensors often monitor and optimise resources in real-time, such as energy use, air quality, stock levels and more. They can be used in supply chain management to track the movement and location of products and assets in transit.

IoT sensors can improve operational efficiency, productivity and safety. With numerous benefits, these technologies are being deployed by enterprises at a rapid rate and at large scales. In fact, the massive rollout of IoT technology is being described as a global phenomenon that is marking a turning point in the power of connectivity and data.

However, as is the case with many transformative technologies, IoT comes with its own set of challenges. Managing and maintaining the large number of sensors and connected devices is one hurdle to overcome, and while this may not be too difficult, keeping these devices secure from various cyber threats presents a more significant challenge.

Keeping IoT devices secure

A large part of cyber security is about monitoring and updating software around the clock. As soon as patches and updates become available, they should be installed. This ensures that the latest services and features are available on all connected devices and that they are running the latest versions of security software to counteract new malware.

What’s more, IoT devices rely on wireless technology to operate and communicate with one another. These connections need to remain secure from hackers and jammers. These networks need to be stable and secure, requiring constant monitoring and oversight. In-house IT teams could do this, but automation is a better (more efficient and cost-effective) solution.

Automated security software will monitor IoT devices and networks and alert IT teams when anything suspicious takes place. When it comes to large-scale IoT, a company may have millions of devices (sensors, actuators, wearables, machinery and vehicles) connected to the network. Only automated security software could successfully monitor all of these devices at all times.

In addition, passwords, firmware and encryption should be updated regularly to keep these IoT devices secure. Failure to do so could increase vulnerabilities and opportunities for cybercriminals to gain access to these devices and their data. Hackers could compromise a device and gain access to the broader corporate network, which could be costly and devastating to a business.

In any enterprise environment, IoT devices could run thousands of physical systems, such as CCTV, climate control and building access. Without effective control and monitoring of these devices, the entire company could be compromised by a cyber attack. This is why intelligent and automated security software is the best solution.

Working with security providers

Enterprises need to work closely with cyber security providers to collectively introduce robust security measures to their IoT networks and devices. These should include strong authentication and encryption systems to ensure that only authorised users can access the data and IoT systems.

Companies must conduct thorough risk assessments and evaluations before setting up IoT networks. In addition, employees should undergo proper training on how to use, monitor and secure IoT devices. User awareness training will teach them about the best practices and the various risks associated with large-scale IoT networks.

Lastly, enterprises need to have robust security policies and protocols in place before IoT devices are deployed. This will help to optimise network performance and incident response, as well as provide a structured framework for handling the complicated IoT ecosystem.

SEACOM offers numerous ICT and cyber security services to enterprises in South Africa. Our team of experts can help you implement a secure IoT network and digital ecosystem. For more information about our offerings or to get a quote, email us at marketing@seacom.com or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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