How can you leverage smart connections and protect your business? The FTC recently published guidance for the design and marketing of products connected to the “Internet of Things.” The following steps from the FTC are a great starting point.
- Start with the fundamentals. Encourage a culture of security at your company and avoid using default passwords.
- Take advantage of what experts have already learned about security. Use industry best practices such as encryption techniques and rate limiting (a system for controlling the traffic sent or received by a network).
- Design your product with authentication in mind. Consider adopting two-factor authentication. For example, requiring the use of a password and a secure token.
- Protect the interfaces between your product and other devices or services. One approach is “fuzzing” – a testing method that sends a device or system unexpected input data to detect possible defects.
- Consider how to limit permissions. Generally, limit access to information you actually need.
- Take advantage of readily available security tools. Such tools can include network scanners, password strength checkers, and vulnerability scanners.
- Test the security measures before launching your product. Test the product in scenarios that replicate how consumers will use the product in the real world.
- Select the secure choice as your default setting.
- Use your initial communications with customers to educate them about the safest use of your product. For example, consider using an initial registration email to explain how customers can use the product securely and most effectively.
- Establish an effective approach for updating your security procedures. Consider regular security evaluations and how you will provide updates.
- Keep your ear to the ground. For example, check free databases of vulnerabilities identified by vendors and security researchers regularly such as the National Vulnerability Database.
- Innovate how you communicate. For example, consider using icons, lights, or other methods to signal when an update is available or when the device is connected to the Internet.
- Let prospective customers know what you’re doing to secure consumer information. View a focus on security as a competitive advantage.
How can you implement these steps? Remember that each industry – and each business – will have unique opportunities in the Internet of Things. Work with your team of advisors to design and develop actionable strategies to meet your needs. Contact us to get started.
This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.
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