People are not the only ones who may want unauthorized access to your network and systems. Devices and the software that runs on them can also pose a threat. With the Internet of Things (IoT) on the rise and other devices that can request access to your network, you must protect against the potential threat they pose. Let’s take a closer look at how devices can gain access to your network and how you can use zero trust to control that access.
The Threat Posed by Devices
Devices that connect to the enterprise network can come from anywhere. These include devices such as security cameras, badge readers, printers, sensors, and building management systems, as well as personal smart devices such as tablets, laptops, smartphones, and smartwatches.
While a user with malicious intent can connect a device to your network, it can also be someone from inside your company who does so without understanding the risk it poses. Connecting a device or software to a network without the knowledge or permission of IT is known as shadow IT, and it can cause many problems.
For example, an employee connecting a smartwatch to the network might seem innocent. Still, if they did it without permission from IT and this smartwatch doesn’t have the same level of security as the other devices connected to your network, an attacker can use it to gain access. This can allow them to steal data, disrupt systems and services, eavesdrop on conversations, and ultimately put your corporate reputation at risk.
In addition, companies using devices such as sensors that use small connection points may find these devices have limited physical and virtual capacity when installing cybersecurity. This makes it challenging to implement a layer of security at the device level.
Why Are IoT and Other Devices Such a High Risk?
Simply put, most IoT devices are not designed with security controls to keep malicious users out. This includes high-level security features and the ability to authenticate users. These devices might operate on the principle of implicit trust, which assumes the user means no harm, or they may not use encrypted communication protocols.
Regardless of the time these devices are connected to the network, they create a network entry point for attackers to exploit. This opens the network to various cyberattacks, such as malware and Denial of Service attacks.
Best Practices for Zero Trust Device Security
To ensure the highest security for devices connecting to your network, each one of which expands your network perimeter, the zero-trust model must be implemented and strictly upheld. Here are the best practices for zero trust device security.
Every device that connects to your network must be authenticated. You can do this by ensuring that only registered devices can connect and issuing renewable credentials for each device. You can also use passwordless authentication and a hardware root of trust. This will ensure you can trust the device’s identity before it is given access to your network.
Least Privilege Access
Ensure that all devices that are allowed access to the network are only permitted to access the areas of the network that are relevant to their role or the role of the user. The device should not have access to the entire network.
Predefined Profiles for Devices
Creating predefined profiles for the devices you expect to connect to your network will help you more easily determine the identity of each device and associate it with the correct authentication policies. This will make it easier to allow the correct level of access.
Use device classifications to assign the correct permissions for each device. For example, a security camera should have different access permissions than a badge reader or a printer.
Strong Network Security
Since IoT devices tend to have little to no built-in security, the primary security layer is network security. For this reason, you must enhance your network security to protect against IoT devices that connect to it.
With BYOD, employee devices can connect to public networks and then connect to yours. This increases the risk of data leakage and the employee’s device returning malicious apps to your corporate network. Have strict policies that include multifactor authentication and single sign-on, access to enterprise app stores, comprehensive mobile device management (MDM), and app segregation to prevent a breach of their device that can compromise your network.
Overall, implementing zero trust security for devices that connect to your network will help ensure that you can track these devices, conduct audits of them, and apply end-point security to ensure the highest level of security at the device layer.
Contact Platinum Technologies to learn how we can help you improve your device security using the zero-trust model.