Risks from the Internet of Things (IoT)

Modern technology has radically changed how we work and live. Almost everything we take for granted in our daily lives, from the copiers and multi-function printers in our office, to the refrigerators, light bulbs and locks on our doors, are evolving to have broader capabilities using the power of networks to make our lives generally better.

However, there is a catch.  The more things we connect to each other, and by extension the Internet, the more potential risks we create.  Sadly, not every device will have perfect security out of the box, and cyber criminals look to exploit flaws in the IoT.  The bottom line is that in order to be comprehensive about security and data privacy, we now have to take these devices into serious consideration.

This means changing our perceptions of what needs maintenance and support.  If you join a device to your home or business network, you need to make sure it has up to date firmware from the manufacturer.  If there is any administrator or other configuration access, those credentials must be managed and changed from the vendor-supplied default. You might even consider not connecting certain devices to the network.  Ultimately you have to trust that the devices you connect to your network are secure and aren’t potential attack points.  Maybe that first-generation refrigerator from a company that no longer exists shouldn’t be talking to your home network. 

While I don’t think this is worth panicking about, it is worth thinking about.  I fully embrace our shift towards a more connected device infrastructure, but we have to do this with the same culture of vigilance and skepticism that we take with typical computing devices. 

Contact us if you would like to discuss!