Is the Internet of Things (IoT) Becoming the Internet of Dangers?
Most companies are concerned with network security. Business owners install antivirus software, run security checks, maintain data backups, and avoid suspicious links. However, hackers have a new way in: your coffee maker. Users of traditional coffee makers have nothing to worry about. However, individuals using new smart coffee makers that can brew coffee with the touch of a button on the smartphone should be wary.
Any smart device you connect to your Wi-Fi network brings security risks. This includes everything from coffee makers to smart watches, cameras, air purifiers, and more. All of these smart-devices comprise the internet of things (IoT), the web of interconnected devices that have not traditionally been connected to the web. Companies that make these devices do not plan with security in mind, leaving them vulnerable. Even when developers discover these software flaws, it is almost impossible for them to patch the devices. Naturally, hackers are not interested in brewing coffee. However, a coffee machine can provide invaluable access to computers connected to the system, giving hackers an “in” to steal your data or upload a virus, leaving you facing downtime during a disaster.
This isn’t a rare occurrence either. In fact, hackers have breached half of all businesses using IoT devices. With the increasing number of smart devices in the workplace, this number will only grow larger.
This isn’t to say you should run your office off the grid with appliances from the 1980s. Smart devices are great ways of increasing productivity. Just consider the risks a device brings when it is brought onto the network. Establish policies and procedures surrounding these devices, and install them with security in mind. With this in mind, here are 3 steps you can take to make your IoT devices more secure.
Steps to Make Your IoT Devices Secure
- Change the default password. Just do it. Keeping the initial password on a device is like leaving the spare key to your house under your door mat: it’s the first place criminals look when breaking in.
- Create levels of security around the devices on your network. Separate smart devices from computers containing sensitive information. Your smart thermostat only needs access to phones in the surrounding area, not the entire system.
- Monitor your network. Regular network security scans are vital to detecting and restricting access to unauthorized devices. Your managed IT services provide nightly scans to make this step easy.
Smart devices will continue to permeate the marketplace in the coming years. For many businesses, these devices make sense. Unfortunately, the developers of these products are mostly small companies that will not have security in mind. Your business security will be the only line of defense between hackers and your private business information. Make it count.
What security measures do you have in place for your smart devices?