The Internet of Things is growing in ways never expected even two decades ago. From ramen forks to salt shakers – nearly everything can be connected to the cloud. While refrigerators that can control all the smart devices and appliances can be amazing and useful, they can also pose security risks.
Statista estimates that by 2020 there will be more than 30 billion Internet-connected devices which amounts to an estimate $19 trillion in anticipated cost savings and profits. These devices have untapped deep penetration potential in manufacturing, healthcare, and business. These devices are connected to your network, through the cloud, and may have little or no security. The vulnerabilities are glaring.
In October of 2016 the largest DDoS attack was launched using an IoT botnet. This took down large swathes of the Internet, including Reddit, Netflix, and CNN. Implanted cardiac devices can be hacked, with lethal consequences. And even SUVs have been hacked and driven to crash.
So, with these vulnerabilities in existence, what can your business do to benefit from the convenience and minimize the risk?
Reduce the risk by selecting secure devices.
If you cannot update the password, software, or firmware on a connected device, it should never be implemented.
Default usernames and passwords are easy.
Change these login credentials immediately upon installation of any connected device. Also, change the passwords on a regular basis. LinkedIn was hacked because so many people had old passwords.
Use unique passwords.
Don’t go easy with the device specific passwords, either. Despite the IT department headaches, have a unique password for each connected device.
Keep them patched.
Patch all connected devices as soon as you can to always try to stay one step ahead of any vulnerabilities.
Forensically analyze any breach.
Many hacks start small, probing for weaknesses before launching the full attack. For this reason, any breach, no matter how small, is a learning experience that should be studied to understand the scope, the angle of attack, and the methodology of the intrusion.
While no network can be 100% secure, there are ways to make yours better. And the Internet of Things brings an access point to your business that you should be aware of before something disastrous happens.