IoT App Development: 6 IoT Cybersecurity Tips for Work from Home Employee

  • By Abhinav Shrivastava
  • 10-09-2020
  • Internet of Things

In the wake of COVID-19, remote working is set to become a new norm for more months to come. Many big organizations such as Twitter have already declared that their employees will continue to work from home until there is waning out of the given pandemic.

Moreover, reports from Gartner shown that at least 41% of the employees across various industries want to work remotely until the pandemic gets over. So, there is no doubt employers are forced to allow employees to work from home for some more time.

Remarkably, a range of markets such as healthcare and manufacturing where IoT is dominating force is also facing the heat of the given pandemic.  But wait, an issue has been creeping out that has made management concern about their business. What is the issue? It is related to cybersecurity. Yes, you heard it right!

That’s the reason security of IoT app development has become more crucial than ever. Moreover, the current scenario has given ample opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit it by harming cyber-users severely. 

In the given article, we will discuss some of the essential IoT cybersecurity tips for those workers who will prefer working from home and wants to protect their data at any cost.

Switch on Security Features & Use Them Suitably
The manufacturing of IoT app solution is incomplete without the inclusion of certain security features. In the current situation arising due to pandemic, many IoT-based industries are permitting their on-site teams to perform their work from remote locations. While working remotely, they take the help of secure remote sensors for successful monitoring of the on-site metrics so that their employees can operate on their machines safely and effectively.

An interesting fact is that many IoT devices already come with security features that are either disabled or switched off by the workers to work with ease. However, it creates an ideal chance for cybercriminals to attack the system and steal personal data from it. So, if the system is not updated, the sensitive and critical data is put at high risk from the online intruders.

What will be the solution to it? The only way to come out of the given mess is to enable the security features as soon as the workers start working remotely (from home). Besides, they should also keep in mind to regularly update their passwords to deny any lapse of the moment to cyber-attackers to trespass their devices illegally.

Carefully Read the Relevant Instructions
Though it looks like a simple observation and even unnecessary thing, but ignore it at your peril. Why? It is because IoT devices come in diverse range and so are vulnerable to varied potential risks. Therefore, it becomes important for the remote workers to go through the relevant instructions when they set or configure a new IoT device from their home. It will be a significant step towards optimizing security for their system.

To have interaction with their colleagues, most of the remote workers utilize the services of webcam. Though it is useful, yet it can allow cybercriminals to get access to their personal belongings present on their system. So, if they find it necessary, only it is advisable to go for it. Otherwise, it will be a wise decision to disable it via the device setting.

Another device used by workers working on IoT application development projects is the microphone. If it is in continuous on-mode, then modifying its default command will become easy for an expert hacker. So, when not in use, choose to turn the microphone to off-mode through device settings. Besides, checking for software updates set the auto-update feature. It will ensure that the latest version is running on the system that will enhance its benefits.

Consider your IT Department as First Line of Defense
If employees are spending their large amount of time working from home, then it is prudent for them to get affected by various vulnerabilities plus bad actors. In such cases, taking assistance from the IT department will prove for them as their first line of defense. Yes, it's true!

Unfortunately, the given situation is successfully utilized by online attackers to make workers fall prey to their insecurities. They repeatedly send mail-after-mail on their inbox to get information about their account and home networking. When the given think happens continuously, contacting their IT department will be beneficial to prevent such cases.

Encountering such a situation needs immediate help from the help desk of the IT department to check if they are sending the given messages to them or not. If not, then they will take the action and block the given account for their safety.

Note: While using mail, it will be judicious to use office mail for communicating with colleagues. It will be helpful for the IT department to constantly monitor the mail and prevent the arrival of the harmful message on their desktop or laptop.

Where it is Possible, Opt for Multi-Factor Authentication
Working from home comes with an enormous opportunity for remote workers to configure individual IoT devices on their home systems. In certain instances, it will help them to deploy two or multi-factor authentication for the creation of an additional security layer to source credentials from multiple users through various devices (for example, smartphone).

The given authentication lay focus on the combination of multiple codes, biometrics, and passwords, and will come in handy when accessing the company's laptop (or desktop). At a fundamental level, taking the help of a reputed IoT app development company is helpful in creating secure and robust login procedures. In this way, not only there is a good safeguarding a large amount of sensitive data, the sharing and collation of data by IoT devices also become somewhat easy. 

Before Going Offline, Devices should be Shut Down
It is a known fact that some IoT devices (such as tools responsible for monitoring on-site procedures) require remaining in a switch-on mode almost continuously. However, others may require working for a certain period of time. So, when there are not in use or are idle, it will be a wise decision to either switch off or shut down.

Why it is so important? It is essential as leaving the devices active when they are not in use render then susceptible to cyber-attack or hacking. It is up to the workers to put an IoT device on standby mode. But it will only minimize the risk instead of curtailing it wholly. The question arises when the device in question comes with an attached security camera. Therefore, it is better to remain at a safe and cautious side by enacting a complete shutdown of the system.

Remain Skeptical while Clicking for every URL for Research Work
Staying at home compels the workers to go through surfing on the internet all day. In such cases, there is a chance of an increase in phishing that affects the working of their system. Thus, they need to take extra precautions while clicking on the unknown email and messages.

If the workers have opened the mail or message without clarifying their authority, then the fraudsters can convert the given mail as coming from the office. If they are opened; then the malware attached to it will spread to their system and thus render it malfunctioning mode.

Sometimes, technical protections are also of no use if there is a social engineering attack, as their weakest links are of course humans. Hackers often trick the workers to download the given software and make their system prone to getting infected from harmful online phishing.

So, it is a warning for the users to think twice before clicking any website. And if they want to download any file or games, do it through the official websites or online and authentic app stores if downloading through smartphones.

As work from home (WFH) is going to become a new norm for most of the organizations, it becomes important to remain cautious and follow simple but essential things like updating passwords and firmware on regular basis. Moreover, they must use only the official site for installing new software.

If they want to enhance their performance for creating one of the best IoT app development platforms, then they have to adapt to the new normal post-COVID-19 and follow the above-given cyber security tips to become a help their business become a major enterprise in future.

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Abhinav Shrivastava

I am a Marketer who is in love with Technology". Over the years, I have been part of many Technology products/projects and I am excited to see the human impact of technology in our day to day life. I have deep knowledge & understanding of the mobility domain and I am happy to see the way smartphones and apps are being used for the betterment of our health, lifestyle, and knowledge I am a believer; I believe in God, I believe in myself, I believe in people and I believe in prosperity.