Internet of Things (IoT)

Advancements in technology have enabled self-driving cars and remote control of house appliances and utilities. In the future expect auto recognition features allowing garage doors to open, lights turning on and your robotic dog greeting you automatically as you approach your home.

This is known as the Internet of Things (IoT) where everything is connected enabling control and manipulation by users making life simpler and more convenient. IoT devices are found in factories, businesses and healthcare. It is projected that by 2020 there will be 200 billion IoT objects on earth equating to almost 26 smart objects for every human being on earth. The growth is so astounding that in the future people may not have the option to purchase devices not connected to the Internet. While the convenience of IoT is enticing there are very large security concerns.

IoT devices are often built without basic security like updating device software and allowing default passwords to be changed. Devices without basic security are highly vulnerable to cyber crooks gaining access and control of IoT devices and the information those smart units contain. Are you comfortable with that? Other questions to ask include: What information is being collected on me and my lifestyle? And why? Review the suggestions below and check out SANS Security Awareness newsletter OUCH! for more information.

Here are a few of SANS OUCH! recommendations for coping:

  • Always change default passwords to passphrases long and strong.
  • Set privacy options to limit the amount of information shared.
  • Keep IoT device software up to date.
  • Only connect an IoT device to the Internet if you need it to be online.
  • Consider putting your IoT devices on a separate/guest Wi-Fi network (i.e. not on the same network as your computers or mobile devices).

It's an insecure world out there so ... protect yourself and stay cyber safe!