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ResourceMFG | Manufacturing Workforce Specialists
6 keys to data security with the IoT

In a manufacturing setting, you likely have a lot of devices connected to your network, and you must be aware of the risks that come with them — especially where the internet of things is concerned.

The odds are that you have a huge number of network-enabled devices under your roof, and you need to be able to account for data security around every single one. Even one weak link can break your chain, and put sensitive data for your employees and company as a whole at critical risk. As such, consider implementing the following steps to get a better handle on IoT security going forward:

1) Know your existing risks

Before you do anything else, you need conduct do a top-to-bottom examination of all the devices under your roof that can connect to the internet, according to the Thales Group. These days you may be surprised by how many things are WiFi-enabled, including coffee makers and wall clocks, so it's worth checking that just about anything electronic is properly secured on your network.

2) Use the right software

It's important to make sure you have proper security software on all devices for which it's possible to install things like antivirus and anti-malware scanning programs, the Thales Group cautioned. Beyond that, you should also have a comprehensive firewall program, and silo off any highly sensitive data from your broader network whenever you can.

3) Dictate who can connect — and how

You would also be wise to make sure your employees or visitors are jumping through a few hoops to connect to your network, as a means of building that extra buffer between outsiders and your data, according to ZDnet. While there's no foolproof way to prevent a data breach, you can adopt tighter controls that limit access to important files.

4) Set a strong password policy

Any device that connects to your network should be password-protected, and those login details need to be highly complex, ZDnet added. That means passwords that are at least 10 characters long, using a mix of numbers letters and symbols, preferably at random. That way, when someone tries to log in without proper access, they can't just crack your network with "12345" or "password."

5) Test yourself regularly

A highly important aspect of data security is making sure you're fully up to speed with the latest standards, according to Network World. That will require you to stress-test your system, keep all your software updated and remaining cognizant of the potential risks you face every day.

6) Think about security at the purchasing stage

Finally, you will no doubt need to buy new electronics on occasion going forward, and good IoT security certainly includes making sure these purchases are given proper consideration around security, Network World advised. You need to be able to account for the risks they could pose, before they enter your facility so the potential for a problem is kept to a minimum.

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