Digital Salutem
13 February 2017

The Internet of Things: Protect Your Devices and Networks From Attack

By João Bocas

With the average home already having multiple devices connected to the Internet and each other, we are more susceptible to cyber threats than we realize.

Anything that we own in our home that has the capability to connect to the Internet is considered an IoT device. It may not immediately come to mind that even a smart refrigerator, a Wi-Fi connected thermostat, coffeemaker, or doorbell could ever be used a backdoor to access your network. If your devices are connected to the Internet through an app on your smartphone or a wearable, you are more vulnerable to network attacks than you think.

Cybersecurity – Are IoT devices presenting an opportunity or a threat?

The Internet of Things Protect Your Devices...

We’ve been living in the IoT age for awhile now. Cyber attackers are getting bolder by mastering highly tech-savvy ways to invade one’s network and home. However, the option isn’t just to give up the devices that have proven to improve our way of life but rather arm ourselves with the knowledge on how to protect the Internet of Things in our connected home from these threats.

These attacks aren’t just limited to your homes but your businesses as well. Your business may run with the same IoT devices and perhaps even more. IoT devices include your computers, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, printers, game consoles, satellite receivers, media players, and any network storage device.

To protect your home and your business, consider your overall network security foundation which includes all of your systems and information as well as your capability to secure and reduce cyber threats. How prepared you are for cyber attacks can be broken down into three different categories:

  • Visibility: It is critical to be prepared. Be knowledgeable about your devices. End-to-end visibility is essential. Know every endpoint device that connects to your network. Know who has access to it. Identify the activity of these IoT devices on the network regarding device ownership, applications used, and connections made.
  • Control: Profile each device and regularly monitor its activity. Be on the look-out for any suspicious behavior. Be on guard so that you can prevent the device you suspect has been compromised from attacking your network. Have a secure and reliable remote management in place.
  • Response:  Use an automated threat response that will automatically quarantine any unauthorized devices. This includes authorized devices that are behaving unusually or have engaged in potentially threatening actions like downloading suspicious software or uninstalling virus protection.

Many of the IoT devices that we own will need to be replaced at some point. They will either be outdated, broken, or we may simply want an upgrade, This is a good thing because if warranties on devices on devices expire, so do their default security defenses.

To protect your network, stay sharp and ensure the health of your network by not ignoring the red flags. Take control of your network. Implement the required safety measures to stop attackers from using your network to access your devices or use it to attack another target.

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