It seems that nowadays every device we use is “smart.” We have access to everything from smart speakers to smart vacuums, and their prevalence is on the rise. According to a recent FBI public service announcement, the number of Internet of Things (IoT) or “smart” devices is expected to increase by anywhere between 300% to 1000% by 2020. While it’s undoubtedly convenient to have all our devices interconnected with each other and the internet, unsecure devices are at a very high risk of being exploited by cyber criminals. To best keep your IoT devices secure, the following actions are recommended:
- While shopping for new devices
- Research your options on reputable websites that specialize in cyber security analysis.
- Search for products with a good reputation for providing security for their IoT products.
- Search for products that offer software or firmware updates and find out how often they are provided.
- Find out the types of data that is collected and stored on the device.
- Find out how long the data will remain stored on the device, whether or not the storage is encrypted, and whether or not the data will be shared with a third party.
- Check to see if opting out of the collection of data is an option and if there are any policies in place in the case of a data breach.
- For recently purchased devices or ones you already own
- Change default usernames and passwords. Create STRONG passwords. Never use common words such as sports teams or children’s names.
- Isolate them on their own protected network and configure their network firewalls to have traffic blocked from unauthorized IP addresses and be sure port forwarding is disabled.
- Implement the security recommendations that are provided by the device manufacturer, be on top of updates and implement security patches where available.
- Invest in a secure router that allows you to whitelist (only allow specific devices to connect to your network).
Although these smart devices aren’t computers with screens, it is important to remember that they require the same cyber security measures as your laptop, desktop or cell phone. As these IoT devices become more prevalent, it is more important than ever to make sure they are secure and safe from cyberattacks. If you have any questions about the security of your IoT devices don’t hesitate to give us a call at 703-790-0400 or visit us on our website at www.optfinity.com.