Confusion about IoT, security and what can happen. If you look at the tech press and in fact the normal press these days, you regularly see stories of people, businesses and hardware being hacked, ransoms being demanded, and devices being broken. We don’t deny that there are criminals out there who will look for any way to take advantage of technology to commit crime but there are also ways you can minimise your risk and enhance your actual security by using IoT devices.
Stop, breathe and then follow a few simple steps, they won’t prevent everything but they will make you less attractive to attackers than your neighbours.
So, what are the simple steps you can do?
- Secure your router. – This is, in essence, your front door to the internet and so much like your house front door, ensure that it is locked and only you have the key.
- Change the Router name – Make it unique and not something that identifies your address or location. Do this for any but definitely if you use the router provided by your ISP.
- Make sure your router is from a trusted manufacturer and do your research. See if they have had any hacks and if so what they did to prevent it happening again.
- Update the firmware as required. Regularly check for updates
- Wi-Fi encryption – Use the strongest encryption you can
- Set up a Guest network – Instead of giving out your home network to anyone, set up a limited, secure Guest network for people to use. This is now a very standard option in routers
- Update your software – Check for updates on all your devices and make sure that they are running the latest software, where possible.
- Do your research before you buy. You do not need to buy a Google Branded product to be secure. There are many incredible providers of products out there but read up on them, look into their history and make sure you are happy before you buy. You could also ask your friendly Home automation company for advice…!
- Use MFA (Multi factor authentication) as often as possible
- Check your network – have a look at what devices are on it and see if any are old and could do with replacing. Replace them. Or check for devices that have had vulnerabilities announced, make sure you isolate them or update them as you can.
Norton (US security company) has a sensible list here that takes you out of your home as well.
But you are not on your own, even governments are getting in on the act. The UK and others are looking at passing laws to ensure that IoT devices come with a significantly higher minimum spec security. ZDnet has a good take on this here.
Our best advice, talk to the experts and ask questions, make sure you are happy before you buy.