What Are IoT Devices and How Does Paessler Monitor Them?

The term IoT – Internet of Things – gets used a lot, but what does it mean? In a nutshell, the concept of IoT involves the network connectivity of physical devices that would have been standalone devices in a previous life.

Your customers most likely have heard about the convenience and accessibility of IoT “smart devices” such as locks, lighting, wearables, appliances, etc. While many incidences of cyber-attacks on IoT devices are coming to light, Paessler’s PRTG is there to measure, analyze, and alert your customers if something fishy was to go on.

But that doesn’t mean that IoT devices are easy to detect. The number of IoT attacks increased from about 6,000 in 2016 to 50,000 in 2017— a 600% rise in just one year, the report found.

How Does Paessler’s Network Monitor Protect Your Customers?

IoT devices cannot be completely monitored; no matter what your customers do. These types of devices can only be controlled to a limited extent by an IT team because they operate beyond their own closed systems.

However, Paessler had outlined the below list of considerations that come as close to “peace of mind” as you can get for your customers’ IoT devices.

1. Secure Your Customers’ Most Important Data First

It makes a lot more sense to pay attention to the most important data, (the data stored on the device and used by apps) than to protect the whole device. To secure this data, your customers do not need to back up the entire IoT device. It is sufficient for them to have a separate area in which this data is stored. Many companies first look at the cloud to secure data from IoT devices. However, as soon as a mobile IoT device contains sensitive data, it becomes a worthwhile target for hackers. If IoT systems are managed by a central administration portal and this is deactivated, it can no longer report attacks to individual devices.

2. Store Your Customers’ Data in a Trusted Area

Because IoT devices are predominantly mobile, it is very difficult to avert malicious applications from communicating with them. One way your customers can prevent this is to store the device ID in a trusted area. Here you can define who is allowed to communicate with the device by linking access to the device ID to secure credentials. The credentials can be assigned to both individuals and organizations and can be secured locally.

3. Keep an Eye Out for Suspicious Behavior

Network monitoring, no matter how sophisticated, cannot directly detect whether an IoT device has become the gateway to certain attacks. However, there are radiation effects that can be identified. As mentioned above, an IoT device usually becomes part of the network. Via the network distributor, a monitoring tool can recognize when an unusually high amount of data traffic occurs on a specific port. It can also be detected via pattern recognition if unusual traffic takes place in the network. A warning would then be sent to the sysadmin and the discovery of the device in question should proceed quite quickly.

 

Considering the vulnerability of these devices, enabling your customers to monitor how these devices are behaving is the only way to notice any abnormalities in network performance. Paessler’s PRTG monitors your customers’ whole IT infrastructure 24/7 and alerts them to problems before users even notice.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

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