Security breaches used to be limited to only our computers. Now, and in the years to come, Internet of Things (IoT) devices pose a unique sort of security threat. When it comes to cyber crimes, anything that is connected to the Internet is capable of being hacked, such as appliances (fridges, washer/dryer), smart lightbulbs, security cameras, connected printers, and the list goes on. Here are a few things you should know about securing IoT devices:
What is the IoT?
You’ve likely heard the acronym IoT (internet of things) thrown around in the tech world, but what exactly does it mean? IoT refers to everyday items and systems that are connected to the Internet so they can be controlled remotely. Items include everything from IP connected security systems, smart fridges, VoIP phones, and baby monitors to even hospital equipment.
What is the danger with IoT?
Don’t get us wrong – IoT is awe-inspiring for our technologically progressive world and it will only become more and more integrated into our lives. However, like with all technology, it comes with its own risks. Like any device, objects connected to the Internet can be breached, and when this happens, owners will experience an array of issues, including personal information stolen, malfunctioning of devices and allowing a direct line of interaction between the criminal and your home.
How prevalent is the threat?
IoT is still a relatively new technology, so the current issues have stayed fairly isolated. One of the biggest problems has been with baby monitors getting hacked, allowing cybercriminals to view the stream. Similar security breaches are expected to increase astronomically within the next couple of years. As governments, cities and homes start jumping on the Internet of Things bandwagon, cyber hacks will be more detrimental, and the outcome will be increasingly more difficult to reverse.
How can avoid falling victim?
You don’t have to swear off IoT devices altogether (after all, this is our future), but we do strongly recommend taking certain precautions to maintain security:
- Look into a product’s security factors before purchasing.
- See if the product can be updated. This shows that it is capable of staying a step ahead of potential security risks.
- Use two-factor authentication.
- Change router’s default settings.
- Contact an IT professional to ensure you are protected
Have any questions about IoT devices and how you can stay safe? Give us a call at 970-419-0602 to see how we can help.