Unmanaged Devices: 6 Reasons You Should Care If They’re on Your Network
Medical and IoT devices regularly connect to the same network as your other devices. Unfortunately, they often receive much less attention than your computers, tablets, and phones, leaving a significant gap in an organization’s security. Consider these six reasons you should care about medical device security and especially unmanaged devices on your corporate network.
Problems with Unmanaged Devices
1. Unmanaged devices will not receive necessary patches
Many developers push out updates and patches regularly. When a zero-day exploit (i.e., a previously unknown vulnerability) is discovered, teams typically act fast to close the hole. However, if you don’t manage your medical and IoT devices, you may not receive those patches as quickly as needed.
When an attacker finds a new exploit, they often will post the vulnerability for others to use. If you do not manage your devices and patch the problems, you may have a serious open vulnerability that can expose your organization to attacks.
2. Unmanaged devices do not receive regular scans and attention
Your malware scanners evaluate your network and many of its primary devices regularly. Unfortunately, the vast majority of networks have unmanaged devices on them. In that case, those devices may not receive the same scans and attention as the devices that you usually manage on your network. Attackers can find their way into those devices with ease, and without scans in place, they may go unnoticed for a lengthy period and therefore have more time to exploit the device or your network. During the of 2017 Equifax breach, attackers spent months working on a knownvulnerability in the system that ultimately resulted in one of the most widely known and damaging breaches in history.
3. Unmanaged devices are hard to monitor
Do your employees connect IoT devices to your network regularly? Even if you carefully monitor network traffic, you may not know what’s happening on those devices. You may struggle to monitor traffic to understand what is typical for that device and what is out of the ordinary. An employee could be sending out sensitive information, on purpose or unknowingly, without proper monitoring of unmanaged devices.
4. Employees can engage in risky behavior on unmanaged devices
Often, employees will engage in more dangerous behavior on their IoT devices than on their primary devices. They know not to click on unsecured links on their laptops or visit unsecured websites on their phones. They may even realize that they shouldn’t connect their phones to unsecured networks or put the company laptop on a public network.
However, many users do not take the same precautions when using IoT devices, including smartwatches, printers, and more. For example, they may connect personal devices to whatever network they approach, especially if they need to regularly use those devices and connect to the internet. As a result, they may open themselves up to malware without realizing it and then bring it back to your network.
5. Unmanaged devices can get out of control quickly
If you allow open access and permit employees to connect any device they like to your network, it can quickly get out of control. You may find your network performance dropping as those unmanaged devices take up a great deal of bandwidth. Unfortunately, this can significantly decrease the overall performance of your network. You may find it much more challenging to identify potential hazards on the network: where did a threat originate? What device caused the problem? How can you troubleshoot faster? When you manage those IoT devices, you can more easily determine where a potential problem may have come from and solve it more efficiently.
6. Unmanaged medical devices compromise privacy
Often, medical devices may contain confidential, private information. Unfortunately, placing those devices on the company network can lead to significant problems when it comes to privacy. In turn, your organization could face HIPAA, CCPA, GDPR or other regulatory violations. In addition to compliance, privacy compromises can lead to breaches that can leak sensitive patient, customer, or other personally identifiable information. Breaches themselves tend to be significantly more impactful, expensive, and resource intensive than regulatory bodies have the power to enforce, making them even more of a headache than maintaining compliance in the first place.
Get Control of Your Unmanaged Devices with IoT Secure
Managing your IoT and medical devices in a business environment is crucial to an organization’s overall security. Visibility across these unmanaged devices is the first step — because you can’t secure what you don’t know.
If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to quickly obtain a complete view of everything connected to your network, request your FREE IoT Secure IoT-mini today.
IoT Secure simplifies IoT security and management, segregation, segmentation, micro-segmentation, and protection. With IoT Secure IoT Security devices, you can protect all your IoT assets automatically, with almost no interaction required. They run on any network port with no SPAN ports or software agents to install.
Our massive database is at the core of the IoT Secure platform. The database includes the very best IoT, BioMed, ICS, and other connected device profiles that have been carefully tuned to correctly identify unmanaged devices. Leveraging this platform for proof of concepts to baseline IoT devices and threats on your network is made quick and easy with the IoT Secure IoT-mini security appliance – simply:
- Connect the IoT Secure IoT-mini IoT Security Appliance anywhere on the network. It takes approximately 2 minutes!
- Get an automated Threat Check report that provides details on all IoT devices and vulnerabilities on your network, including IoT-specific threats that traditional vulnerability scanners commonly miss from the OWASP IoT Top 10.
You can test the results at home, with a virtual network, or directly on your work network with zero impact on performance, availability, or bandwidth in any measurable way.
Ready to get started with profiling IoT devices on your network? Request your FREE IoT Secure IoT-mini today.
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