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A study shows the shared responsibility among remote workers and IT teams to secure the enterprise

A global company called Palo Alto Networks conducted a survey and found out that there's an increase in non-business IoT devices on corporate networks.

Changes needed to protect corporate networks from non-business IoT devices

Palo Alto Networks commissioned technology research firm Vanson Bourne, which polled 1,900 IT decision-makers at organizations in 19 markets: United States, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Middle East (comprising of UAE and Saudi Arabia), Spain, Italy, Ireland, Australia, China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan.  

According to cybersecurity experts, one small IoT sensor can provide entry into a corporate network to launch ransomware attacks. The results show that 80 percent of respondents from the Asia Pacific reported an increase in non-business IoT devices on corporate networks in the last year. 

In the study, the list of IoT devices includes smart light bulbs, heart rate monitors, connected gym equipment, coffee machines, game consoles, and even pet feeders. This means that security must be heightened to protect corporate networks. 

The majority, which is 98 percent of the respondents, think that their company's approach to security needs to be improved. Meanwhile, 30 percent said that they need a complete reformat with their approach to security capability needs around threat protection and other factors. The main researcher in Palo Alto Vicky Ray explained,   

IoT adoption has become a critical business enabler. It presents new security challenges that can only be met if employees and employers share responsibility for protecting networks.Remote workers need to be aware of personal home devices that may connect to corporate networks via their home router. Enterprises need to better monitor threats and access to networks while practicing proper network segmentation to safeguard remote employees and the organization’s most valuable assets.

The survey also noted that 53 percent of the respondents said that IoT devices are segmented on a separate network from the one they use for primary business devices and business applications. On the other hand, 28 percent claimed that  IoT devices are micro-segmented within security zones. Allegedly, this an industry best practice where organizations create tightly controlled security zones on their networks to isolate IoT devices and keep them separate from IT devices.

To learn more about this, you can visit Palo Alto's official website.

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