Networks Europe Issue 13 January/February 2018 - Page 30

30 SECURITY Your physical IT assets The physical security of IT assets is also often overlooked. Many data centres have loose drives or outdated servers in cupboards or in other areas of your enterprise location(s). These IT assets present the risk of being lost or stolen if not sanitised in an efficient manner; they also take up space you could be using otherwise. If a company can’t account for a data-bearing device, it can’t sure if it’s been lost or stolen. These situations often come to light with equipment inventory reports. The enterprise must determine if a data breach has occurred and if their data has been compromised. Of course, none of these situations is ideal. It’s best that you don’t have IT assets sitting around waiting for the decommissioning process. Whether you’re using physical destruction, software-based data erasure or a mixture of both, you need to make sure your IT assets are cleared of data before they leave your facility – even if they’re on the way to an ITAD for physical destruction. Security issues can happen in transit. It’s always best to erase first, just in case. In addition, sometimes physical assets are also redeployed inside the data centre for new user groups or end customer data; these assets must be erased before reconfiguration and redeployment. Threat #3 The Internet of Things (IoT) Both a threat and an opportunity, the Internet of Things is predicted to grow to 26 billion units globally by 2020, according to Gartner. With more devices and connections come many more unknown variables, which inevitably brings new and unforeseen challenges in the enterprise data centre. Recent server vulnerability events, such as Heartbleed indicate these potential dangers. Malware and other Threat #4 cybersecurity threats can quickly spread, but many IT pros aren’t making IoT security a priority. As technology pro Jaikumar Vjayan explains: “The challenge for IT is less about technology and more about getting ahead of the security curve. Many of the technology controls needed to secure a highly connected world already exist. What CISOs and other IT managers need to focus on are policy and process – specifically, developing secure deployment practices and policies and putting in place architectural foundations for accommodating new IP-enabled devices.” 8 Ways to Prevent IoT Threats: 1. Always change the default password on connected devices 2. Read the terms and conditions. Understand what data is being collected and what type of threats might exist 3. Consider outsourcing storage and networking functions when possible. The more devices you have connected, the more ways there are for hackers to infiltrate your network 4. Keep the software updated on all your connected devices to receive any bug fixes. If your devices haven’t been updated in several months, update them as soon as possible 5. Issue device ID certificates to each device at the point of manufacturing to establish identity and facilitate authentication to service and other devices 6. Encrypt IoT data, including stored data to prevent interception 7. Securely erase the data from IoT devices at end-of- life 8. Use signed digital certificates with code signing of firmware/software updates. Only communicate with devices using SSL certificates. n www.networkseuropemagazine.com