Cyber hacks are a reoccurring problem. It happens to businesses of all sizes and individuals as well. Internet of Things (IoT) internet-equipped devices such as webcams, refrigerators, thermostats, Roombas, and even fish tanks, are becoming more common in everyday life at a pace faster than adequate security measures can be created to address their inherent risks. Here’s what you need to know about IoT device vulnerability and how you can take measures to better protect yourself and your business.
IoT devices are “smart” devices that can connect to the internet or transfer information between networks without the need for human interaction. You may have two or three of these devices already in your home. The most common items are smart TVs, refrigerators, and webcams. However, IoT devices can be items you would least suspect such as a pacemaker or even a fish tank! If it can connect to the internet, it can be hacked.
IoT Hacking in the Headlines
You may have read about the headline about a fish tank that played a part in hacking a casino. The hackers were able to access the sensors inside the tank to move around to different parts of the casino’s network to gather information. Do you have an autonomous vacuum like a Roomba? There are cases in which the cameras on the robot vacuum have been hacked and hackers scoped out a home while the homeowners were away. And it’s not just vacuums and fish tanks. Hackers’ creativity doesn’t stop there. These devices are becoming more common in everyday life, and consumers aren’t fully aware of the vulnerabilities they can carry.
Safety Measures You Can Take
- Factory reset
- Separate network for IoT
There are several ways you can help protect yourself and your business from these vulnerabilities. Just like with a computer or mobile device, you want to keep all your devices up to date. Updates provide new security measures and privacy features. If you get rid of any of these devices, be sure to restore them to the factory settings before throwing them out or putting them up for resale. Another great tip is to have two separate internet networks in your home or place of business. Many routers include the option to add a second network. Use one network solely for IoT devices. Another option is to have two different routers with different IP addresses to keep your IoT devices on a network separate from your phone and computer.
Don’t let your business become vulnerable! In addition to these safety tips, it’s a wise idea to obtain cyber insurance in case a cybercrime does affect your business. MiniCo offers a cyber insurance program that is designed specifically for small to medium-sized business. Learn more here how cyber insurance can help your business stay protected.