IoT Devices – how to benefit without getting hacked
The Internet of Things is everywhere this holiday season. Stores are full of internet connected crock pots, cameras, deadbolts, and everything you can think of. The big draw is that you can lock your doors with your cell phone while you’re at the beach- no more calling your neighbors to check whether you locked your door! Unfortunately, when you put technology on things that have never had it before you run into security risks you haven’t ever considered before.
Just last month there was a major DDoS attack on the East coast of the United States. It is thought to have been caused by teenage hackers seizing IoT devices to bombard Dyn, an internet traffic routing service. It was effectively like taking the phone off the hook or giving everyone a busy signal because so many IoT devices were bombarding the system with requests.
The problem with all these IoT devices is that they are often rushed to market with little to no security. They then provide a backdoor into your home network, oftentimes allowing hackers access to your entire network. IoT refrigerators were recently found to give access to users’ Gmail accounts, but this wasn’t even the beginning of this problem, nor will it be the end.
So what can you do to secure your network against IoT issues? Start by segmenting your network and use one segment for less secure items and another segment for things that have better security. Turn off the WiFi when you aren’t home- no internet access means nothing to hack! Ask yourself if you really need to be able to talk to your crock pot and refrigerator when you are away from home, and if the answer is no go with an analog version.
Learn more about protecting yourself from IoT breaches from this infographic!