Have you heard of The Internet of Things? ZDNet recently published an article called “The Internet of Weaponized Things,” highlighting the potential dangers posed by Internet-enabled devices and services.
Many businesses focus on the convenience and efficiency of such devices (which are undeniably beneficial), while not understanding the full extent of their vulnerabilities to hacking and data leaks.
For example, Internet-enabled security cameras have been hijacked and turned into bots that can launch massive DDoS attacks, bringing down business websites and causing various kinds of downtime and disruption. Devices can be hacked as a way of infiltrating a company’s network and obtaining confidential information, ranging from credit card numbers to personal identifiers.
How can we make these devices safer?
One major step would be to demand and enforce certain cyber security standards for these devices. Currently, many Internet of Things manufacturers disregard cyber security to an alarming degree. An important step in improving standards came recently from Consumer Reports, which plans to include information about a product’s security and privacy as part of its influential reviews.
But businesses need to take the appropriate steps to protect themselves now. They can’t wait for standards to be established at some future point.
The following are some of the steps businesses can take:
- Carefully evaluate devices before purchasing them.
- Configure devices properly. For example, make sure to switch from the default password to a more complicated one, use firewalls, and check that the devices aren’t exposed to the public Internet.
- Understand how the devices are connected to the rest of your network, and ensure that they don’t have an unnecessary connection to sensitive parts of your IT set-up, such as your point-of-sale system.
- Continuously monitor the activity from these devices to detect signs of cyber attack.
For further advice and assistance, please contact us. As experienced IT professionals, we’ll help you set up, configure, and monitor your devices to help prevent costly cyber attacks and data breaches.