If It's Smart, It's Vulnerable: Tips for Securing your IoT Devices

If It's Smart, It's Vulnerable: Tips for Securing your IoT Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been toted as the next step in our technological development. It’s hard to argue with that. It's predicted that the number of active IoT devices worldwide will reach 10 billion by 2020 (and 22 billion by 2025). Your smart TVs, security cameras, smart locks, gaming consoles, and smart thermostats can add much convenience to your life, but they can also make your home, your office, and any connected devices vulnerable to a cyberattack. Here are 5 tips to improve the security of your IoT devices. 

1. Check permissions upon installing a device. Most IoT devices have very generous data permissions set as the default. For each device you install, make sure you look through the privacy settings to make sure you’re only sharing what you’re comfortable with, and not just going with the factory settings on the device or any associated apps. For additional security, you can use a non-identifiable login that is not connected to any other account or service.

2. Keep an eye out for devices that are always on. Some devices are in a constant state of readiness, waiting for motion, voice, or other prompts that will make them spring into action. The problem is that these can often be abused by hackers. Like data permissions, these settings can be turned off or restricted, so be sure to consider this option to make your smart office or home more secure, and ensure you’re not constantly under surveillance. Limit the use and location of ALWAYS ON smart speakers. You should also be extremely cautious where you enable voice service integrations, as these may be accessible from outside.

3. Maintain your devices. Update software on all devices and apps every week. Manufacturers regularly release software updates with security fixes that improve the security of their devices. A highly common tactic used by hackers is to wage large campaigns based on known vulnerabilities, attempting to break in anywhere where the updates have not been installed. By regularly updating your software, you can eliminate the risk posed by such attacks altogether.

4. Secure access. Change default passwords to sentences and enable multi-factor authentication for all applications. Of critical importance is to limit system admin right and force other vistiors or users into a guest account.

5. Separate your devices. Hackers will often use unsecured devices as an “in” through which to breach other parts of a network. Maintaining a dedicated IoT network or a specific IoT-only wireless network at home is a way to prevent hackers from using a hacked device as a foot in the door.

Do you have IoT devices in your office and unsure if they're adequately protected? Contact us today to take a look. We're here to help. 

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