Hackers have evolved their strategies to attack devices on your networks that are not as strongly protected as your server. Most people have no idea that a hacker can access their network by breaking into their bluetooth printer, thermostat, or office security system phones. All of these devices are connected in the Internet of Things age that we live in. The bad news is almost certainly all of your devices are unsecured.
How can that be you ask? You paid top dollar to get a firewall to repel these malicious attempts. Let me be clear, your network may be secure, but each of your devices aren’t. A hacker sitting in his car in the middle of the parking lot can hack into your firm’s printer and get into your cyber network. At a minimum, they can see every document that is printed by your company and sell or expose your proprietary information. How much of a disadvantage would that put into your business model?
Protecting your “Internet of Things” Devices
Here are some steps you can take to make it harder on hackers.
- Rename your devices. When a hacker does a scan for related devices instead of seeing HP Printer let them see something like. “NSA Intern”.
- Make sure your network is configured to send out information only with permission.
- Change the generic user or admin passwords associated with the device into something much more secure.
- Upgrade your devices to the newest security standards. If upgrading the devices is too cost prohibitive at least make sure to have the latest firmware updates installed.
- When selecting a new device, consider whether you really need it to use the cloud or not.
- Turn connectivity off of devices when not using connectivity.
Unfortunately, device security is lagging far behind network security. In the battle between armor and warhead, the warhead always wins. Attacks on cyber networks via these unsecured devices are going through the roof and the United States Department of Commerce has taken notice. As a result, the Commerce Dept. is moving to set a universal standard of security in place.
But don’t wait until an official guideline is in place for all manufacturers of Internet of Things devices to adhere to. Do the things we suggested above.
Keep these two things in mind:
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Protecting yourself also protects your clients and protecting your customer is the duty of every business.