The Internet of Things (IOT) has brought about a lot of ease and comfort to humanity as we know it. Homes are now being equipped with little-computerized devices that help simplify processes, examples of these devices are cameras, automatic air condition regulators, sprinkler systems, sensors and alarm systems, and need I say more. These devices come equipped with tiny computers and everyday research is going into making more of them that would ease up processes even more. The tiny computers in these devices are used in performing complex processes within the system and also in connecting the device to a network. The bitter truth some smart devices owners do not know is that these devices just like mobile devices and computers are also susceptible to the security risks that may be found on the internet. Even worse, these devices have little or no firewall to help block cyber-attacks due to their small size.
Since these devices are the closest things to individuals, a strong and secure structure is more than necessary to help protect the individual privacy. There is no limit to the harm that could be done to an individual or a system if any of these devices is hacked. And so to build a stronger security around these devices one should ensure that the following methods are put in place:
Ensure devices and software are regularly updated:
Manufacturers of devices and software usually research additional methods for better security and bug fixes on their products, even long after releasing the products. So also hackers and other cyber criminals research methods to leverage on the vulnerability of the products after they are released. The update is a method used by the manufacturers to stay a step ahead of the hackers, in that as the hacker is finding loopholes in the current software, the manufacturers have found a way to create a more secure version of the software in a new release. And so it becomes increasingly difficult for the hacker to keep up, in turn leading to more security for devices running the latest software.
Change default passwords:
The reason you change the default password of your home Wi-Fi is to prevent people that could have an idea of the password from connecting, right? So also, you should change the default password of the devices used in your smart home. The default password is usually the first guess anyone looking to infiltrate your home would take before looking into other complex options to gain access.
Get a bit defender box:
A bit defender box is a device that is attached to your router and helps to create a firewall and provide antivirus capabilities for the devices connected to your network. On first connection, the box would scan the entire network and take records of the devices connected for monitoring and protection. It takes records of these devices continuously even when new devices are added. The box protects your other devices in real time by intercepting suspicious packets data coming in and out of the network.
Even if you are not home, you can still make use of the security of the box by connecting to it via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) wherever you may be. Once you are connected through the VPN, all the data traffic from your computer to the internet would be rerouted to the box which would scan and intercept suspicious packets of data just as it would do in your home.
It is also possible that a device on your home network may already be infected with a virus, bit defender box monitors every device and isolates anyone with suspicious behavior from the others. This is done in other to protect the other uninfected devices.
Disable plug and play features:
Universal plug and play are usually found enabled by default on devices that connect to the device. This is feature is a potential risk to the network’s security, in that it would give way for malicious software into the network. And so, the first thing to do when such devices are acquired is turned the feature off. You do not have to connect all devices in the home to the internet. The more devices you have connected to the internet in your home, the more you place yourself at risk.
Now if you are do not have any Internet of Things (IOT) device installed in your home yet, but you are looking into installing them soon there are a few things you need to take note of to guard against potential risks.
5. The cheap ones are the riskiest
Some devices may be larger than your budget, it is better to save up for them other than settling for the cheaper similar alternative available. This is because the price tag on the devices is proportional to the features available on them, a cheap device may not have has much security features as the expensive one. And so for the best possible quality that you most definitely need, the best camera in the market is always the right choice. Although as you would expect, the best comes at a cost.
6. Prepare for an attack early enough
There’s a saying that goes thus,” A battle long foretold never hurts the lame “. Upon getting to this part of the article, I am sure you have realized the security risk involved with IOT devices. Hence, the smart choice is to build security structures while you build your smart home. Build structures like you would if you were told that there would be an attack on your devices tomorrow. It is better to be safe than sorry. Build a network framework that would make two separate networks for your IOT devices and your mobile devices and computers. This is because due to the low level of security these devices possess, hacking into them would be relatively easy compared to the computers. And so hackers can leverage on these and use it in having access to your personal computers that are connected on the same network. Access to your personal computers would give them access to your personal folders and documents, which when handled by the wrong hands could have really dangerous consequences.
In conclusion, it is important for you to be security conscious when adding gadgets to your house that would make use of your home network. As you would not let a maid with questionable character work unsupervised in your home, so also should you not allow usage of these IOT devices in your house without having the right security software and hardware to supervise activities.