The Internet of Things is a concept similar to that of the Internet of People which describes a future that allows devices, gadgets and household objects to be connected to the Internet in the same way to other hardware and us. There are many problems that can arise from this which could potentially lead hackers gaining your personal information simply through your fridge, washing machines and even your toaster. You are probably wondering why this may be and how you could protect your devices from being hacked in this new way.
An attack can come from anywhere when it comes down to gaining personal and important information. An attacker could use an insecure fridge as a pivot to get at your laptop where login details, credit card numbers and other identifiers are located. There are many household items that are more insecure then others such as baby monitors and Wi-Fi-cameras which are easy to hack, find pictures and even hear sounds. Wi-Fi video cameras are always available to the Internet regardless of a firewall this is because they have cross site scripting that can let a hacker in and put in their own code. It may also be used to turn the video camera into a worm that wiggles around getting into more other interesting systems such as PCs, smart phones and tablets. Anyone who knows the IP address can login and take, even possibly share your private pictures online. If this happens there are no legal or ethical ways to probe the on lookers in your home.
As much as NSA data grabs are intimidating, your once secure household items are even worse. Devices such as your TV with all your personal data stored on the machine can be harvested which could lead to on lookers learning your habits and possibly geo-locating you. Companies such as Google are reportedly developing cable boxes that show ads relative to movement and what is happening in your house. Hackers can use a fridge to send spam emails to businesses through a botnet attack that involves a collection of computers in people’s homes and businesses which again can access your personal information without you not knowing.
Network security is an imperative aspect when trying to make your business as secure as possible because it prevents the loss of vital information and the misuse of data. You could prevent any loss by simply collecting data of how well or not so well elements of your network security is then build better safeguards to make it as protected as possible. Constant review and maintenance is needed to stay up to date with your security and ahead of the hackers. You can do this by conducting a security audit, encrypting your data and the use of multiple securities that will block attacks. To protect your business from an external attack there are a few things that one can do that could minimise the risk of a cyber attack such as change the administrative settings as most are insecure default passwords or pin numbers. You could turn off smart features on household items as most do not know they are hooked up to the internet. Install firewall on items that have the ability to connect to the Internet because by treating them like smart devices you are minimising the risk of any kind of attack.
The concern surrounding the Internet of Things is becoming a warning sign for businesses as the worry of attacks coming from items that are not conventionally the pathway of a cyber attack isn’t taken into consideration. This is why businesses should take the essential steps to secure all means of items that connect to the Internet to avoid such an attack.
Posted by Karen Lane
512K Day; the day the global Internet broke under its own weight.