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Internet of Things (IoT) Devices Will Make Work Easier, and Security Harder

News > Internet of Things (IoT) Devices Will Make Work Easier, and Security Harder

Internet of Things (IoT) Devices Will Make Work Easier, and Security Harder

 

This year, the number of Internet-connected devices in use worldwide is expected to surpass the number of people on the planet. Most of those will be used in the home, but about 3 billion of the estimated 8.4 billion (according to Gartner) will be routers, printers, keyboards, security cameras and myriad other devices designed for business use.
 
Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT) era, which promises both convenience and chaos.
 
As Wired explained, "Every connected device opens up a potential backdoor into a network, and the cost of overlooking these vulnerabilities could be devastating." If you're using any IoT devices, or plan to, your IT team or vendor should already be taking these new vulnerabilities into account in your organization's overall network security plan.
 
Unsecured IoT devices are a menace. The can be conscripted into massive DDoS attacks, like the one that disrupted Internet service on much of the east coast last October (and which might have been "just a practice run").
 
Some threats will be closer to home. Last year, experts identified flaws in certain wireless keyboards that could be be exploited to allow keystroke reading from hundreds of feet away. An examination of security cameras found that units from more than 70 vendors were vulnerable.
 
Buyer Beware
 
In the examples above, the devices were insecure: the keyboards did not encrypt the data sent to the computer, and the cameras all used the same poorly designed firmware. This kept their costs down relative to other models, but as they say, you get what you pay for. You need to consider more than just cost when choosing IoT devices. Consumer Reports intends to start rating devices according to their security. Until then, we suggest careful research of the brands and models that fit your needs.
 
Dig Into Settings

It's unbelievable how many people, including businesses, setup security camera systems and can't be bothered to change the default username and password," writes cnet.com. This is true of other devices as well, like routers and printers. These need strong passwords just as much as your desktop and laptop computers do.
 
You also need to make sure you understand all of the device's security-related settings, and have made the device as secure as it can be.
 
ABP: Always Be Patching
 
When vulnerabilities are detected, reputable manufacturers will issue firmware updates to eliminate them. You need to keep up with these and install them immediately, just like with your operating systems and software.
 
For more information on safely integrating IoT hardware into your network, contact us.